Vote count begins in Kenyan presidential election

The election is seen as the most important in Kenya’s history.

Votes count have commenced in Kenya after a crucial presidential election that aroused intense fears of violence.

Polls were due to close at 5 p.m. Kenyan time, (3 p.m. Nigerian time) but electoral officials said those in queues at that time would be allowed to vote.

Many polling stations will close later because they opened late for voting. The electoral commission has seven days to announce the official outcome.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) issued a notice via social media saying: “We wish to inform members of the public that all Voters on the queue by 5:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote.”

Violence erupted early morning as the poll was opening, and at least 15 people were hacked to death by machete-wielding gangs.

At least nine security officers were killed early Monday ahead of the election in Kenya’s coastal region. Six attackers were also killed, the police said.

Millions of Kenyans shrugged off the fear and filed on thousands of queues to elect a new president for the East African country.

Many have raised concerns over insecurity and instability following the violence that engulfed the country during its last election in 2007.

More than 1,200 were killed in the attacks by opposing parties and gangs who disputed the outcome of the election.

As in 2007, the election is keenly contested; and of eight candidates seeking to become president, a winner is expected to emerge this time between Deputy Prime Minister, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, who lost in 2007 to the outgoing president, Mwai Kibaki.

The candidates and officials have made appeals against violence.

Mr. Kenyatta is due to face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) next month in connection with the 2007 violence.

Kenyans will also elect federal lawmakers, county governors, and county lawmakers.

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