Unsigned Heaven     Travel World     The Cheers News     Forum    

Kenyans vote in closest-ever polls amid fraud allegations    2007-12-27 05:34:00    

Kenyans headed to the polls Thursday in the country's closest-ever elections that have provoked fears of fraud and violence in a country known for relative stability.
Nairobi (dpa) - Kenyans headed to the polls Thursday in the country's closest-ever elections that have provoked fears of fraud and violence in a country known for relative stability.

Long, winding queues wrapped around streets of the capital Nairobi, as some Kenyans sat drinking tea waiting for polls to open, many of which were delayed.

Residents set up makeshift checkpoints in Kibera, East Africa's largest slum, stopping cars and verifying none were ferrying in false ballots to polling centres.

Some 14 million people are registered to vote for presidential, parliamentary and civic candidates in a race that has pit President Mwai Kibaki's Party of National Unity against his former ally Raila Odinga and the Orange Democratic Movement.

"We want change. We want jobs. We want an end to poverty and to corruption. Raila can do this for us," said Joanes Okumu, who had been waiting in line to vote since dawn.

Odinga was greeted by a mob of supporters as he arrived to vote in his constituency, which includes the impoverished, filthy slum Kibera.

Wearing a white cowboy hat, he entered the polling station flanked by people whistling and cheering "President!" His voting was delayed however, local media reported, because voters lists with names beginning with O, R, A and W were missing - as was his name.

Odinga voted later on Thursday.

Kibaki, seeking a second 5-year term, cast his ballot in his constituency of Othaya in the lush Kenyan highlands, from where his Kikuyu tribe hails.

"I'm voting for Kibaki, of course. He has sown a change that could never be sown by anyone else," said Faith Nginyi, waiting in line at a polling station in an east Nairobi neighbourhood.

East Africa's largest economy has grown some 5 per cent a year during Kibaki's 5-year rule, mostly because of booming tourism and horticulture industries, but the country is beset by poverty and corruption, with many Kenyans rooting for change under Odinga.

The two candidates' ideologies are similar, each seeking to liberalize the economy and implement free secondary education. Odinga, 62, has led in most opinion polls.

More than 15,000 foreign and local election observers are in the country to monitor the vote that has been dubbed "high priority" by the European Union monitoring mission.

The late opening of polls around the country elicited a call by the EU's chief election observer, Count Alexander Lambsdorff, to call for an extension of voting hours in those stations affected.

"There have been delays around the country and some irregularities but they have been minor," the member of the European parliament from Germany told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. "We've called for an extension of voting time by two hours."

Human rights groups and the opposition have fuelled fears that fraud and violence could mar the polls in the country seen as a beacon of peace in a troubled region. The 28,000 polling stations opened at 6 am (0300 GMT) and were set to close at 5 pm (1400 GMT).

"I have been here since 3 am. There are some problems with the voter lists. But I won't go home, I won't leave until I vote," said Mary Tom, voting in Kibera, an Odinga stronghold.

A presidential candidate must win more votes than his opponents as well as gain a quarter of votes in five out of the country's eight provinces to be declared winner.

Click for more News about Kenya

TAGS: Africa   

The Cheers NEWS is looking for new local reporters

Eight Muslim Brotherhood members detained in Egypt

At least eight members of Egypt's banned Muslim Brotherhood movement were arrested on Monday on charges of belonging to an outlawed group, security sources said.

Kibaki declared Kenyan leader amid clashes, protests (roundup)

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner Sunday amid reignited violence around the country after a tight, tense race was marred by allegations of fraud.

EU doubts "accuracy of result" in contested Kenya poll
30.Dec 2007
The European Union election observer team voiced concern Sunday over the vote

Violence erupts as Kibaki reelected as Kenya's leader
30.Dec 2007
Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki was sworn in after being declared winner Sunday

PROFILE: Mwai Kibaki returns to the helm in Kenya's closest-ever vote
30.Dec 2007
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki was declared winner Sunday in the country's

Death toll in Alexandria building collapse reaches 35

Controversy over charges in Muslim Brotherhood trial arises

Kenyan electoral commissioner walks out, no winner announced

Kenyan parties trade accusations, violence continues

Kenyans vote in closest-ever polls amid fraud allegations

The Cheers magazine: About us | Contact us | The Cheers Story | Advertising
Work with The Cheers: Writers guide | Write for us | Writer application | Reporter application 
The Cheers:Terms and conditions | Privacy policy | Sponsoring | Sitemap
Sister sites: Tech Blog |  Best Auto Zine | Travel destinations by weather | Okai - critical commentary | Stock trading game | Wifi hotspots and wireless laptops | The Daily Bonk | Best Poker Zine | Business thoughts | Political commentary | Most expensive things | World News in ShortTop 10 listsPolitically incorrect blog
Listen: Online radio station
Travel World: World travel locations
Travel: Travel blogs | Travel destinations | Hotel reviews | Beer around the world
Watch: Watch series online
Trade: The Stock game | Trading competitions | Trading education
Entertainment Blogs
Entertainment blog
Copyright © 2004-2012 The Cheers magazine / Kenya

web stats