Kenyans were still waiting for election results on Friday, with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) urging citizens to reject disinformation about the results and trust the vote counting and reporting process.
Officials with the IEBC reminded Kenyans that by law, there is a seven-day window in which to confirm the vote count from Tuesday’s election.
Deputy President William Ruto, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate, and main rival Raila Odinga of the Azimio Coalition Political Party appeared to be in a close race for the presidency. The latest results showed Ruto with 52.8% of the vote, while Odinga held 46.5%. A runoff vote will be needed if no presidential candidate gathers 50% of the vote.
Two other candidates, David Mwaure Waihiga and George Wajackoyah, had together received less than 1% of the vote. The results are based on 68% of the vote count completed so far.
Ruto was favored in much of the western part of Kenya, while Odinga was leading in the east and in the far northwest and southwest regions.
The elections in Kenya, where the political violence in past years cast its shadow, appeared to be largely peaceful. The Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) said UDA rivals shot at MP candidate Jack Wamboka in Bungoma County, injuring four of his team members.
In a separate incident, MP Didmus Barasa of Kimilili stands accused of the shooting death of Brian Olunga, an aide to his DAP-K opponent Brian Khaemba. Barasa turned himself in on Friday, according to Kenya’s National Police Service.
Kenya has seen a rise in political violence across the year, with more than 1,060 such incidents, according to monitors with the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).