Kenyan Elections Open Thread

Kenyans are voting today in much-anticipated presidential elections. The BBC has profiles of the eight candidates, including front-runners Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga. The BBC also has a Q&A on the elections. Reuters has an interactive timeline covering the period from the 2007 elections to February 2013. IRIN has a page for the elections as well. International Crisis Group’s report on the elections is here (.pdf). Finally, VOA is providing live updates here.

Please consider this an open thread for Kenya-related news. What are you hearing/reading/seeing? Let us know.

6 thoughts on “Kenyan Elections Open Thread

  1. Just read of another requirement so wonder if there are more requirements that have not been mentioned in the media. Also, besides 50% plus one is the winner must carry at least a quarter of the vote in the majority of the 47 counties.

    What is a majority? How is that calculated?

    This is the official election website: wait for the color coded map and one can view how each candidate is doing in the voting.

  2. From the Al Jazeera website comes this:

    Expert’s opinion – Bob Mkangu, a lawyer and member of the committee that drafted Kenya’s constitution, says yes.
    “The Kenyan constitution states that, under article 138 subarticle four, that, in considering the proportion, in percentage, of how much each candidate gets in a presidential election, we have to consider that through examining all the votes that have been cast for that presidential election,” he told Al Jazeera.

    “Meaning that, in calculating that percentage, you calculate regarding all the votes, whether rejected or valid.

    “To give an example, in a polling station, if a box is opened, what is counted is all the votes for each candidate – and the rejected votes are also considered. But in doing the percentage for how much each and every candidate has gotten, all those votes, including the rejected ones, are considered. And the philosophy behind that is the fact that each and every Kenyan who went to cast a vote and had an opinion about who he or she wanted to be president – that entire totality – should be considered… Both the valid and invalid votes should appear [in the final tally].

    “The message to Kenyans from diverse voices is to remain calm and patient, considering also that the constitution does gives the electoral management body up to seven days to declare the final declaration.”

    On this point, Kenyan law seems clear, with a clause in the country’s new constitution stating “votes cast” count towards the total, rather than “validated votes”.

    Chapter seven, paragraph 86 of the Kenyan constitution states:
    At every election, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission shall ensure that:

    (a) whatever voting method is used, the system is simple, accurate, verifiable, secure, accountable and transparent;

    (b) the votes cast are counted, tabulated and the results announced promptly by the presiding officer at each polling station;

    (c) the results from the polling stations are openly and accurately collated and promptly announced by the returning officer; and

    (d) appropriate structures and mechanisms to eliminate electoral malpractice are put in place, including the safekeeping of election materials.

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