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Kenyan police brace for election violence

Kenyan police brace for election violenceā€

President Kenyatta is seeking a fifth term while Raila Odinga, the opposition leader who alleges that the ruling party will try to rig the vote, tries to unseat him. "That's not good for poor people like us, and we hope that Odinga will change this", said Rose Lida, 48, wrapped in a red Maasai blanket on the chilly morning.

Most of the voters said they expected a free and fair election that is not marred with any intimidation or violence.

"The Kenyan people as a whole will be the losers if there is a descent into violence", he said.

Okech had avoided politically rallies, fearing they might get out of hand, but on Tuesday there was no question that she would vote for Odinga.

In the general election, Kenyans will vote for a president, national assembly legislature members, female representatives, governors, senate and county assemblies.

Former President Barack Obama, who has largely stayed silent since President Donald Trump took over in January, opted to speak out about the hotly contested presidential election scheduled for Tuesday in Kenya, where voting in recent years has been followed by violence.

Though there are eight presidential candidates on the ballot, Kenyatta and Odinga are the leading candidates in the race that appears too close to call.

"Uhuru must go", chanted his supporters, referring to the president by his first name.

"We inspect them at times such that, when we find the vote belongs here, we ask them to stay and vote and then travel home later", bus driver Chelule Julius said.

In a speech on Monday night Mr Kenyatta appealed to Kenyans to vote peacefully in large numbers. He managed to rise to prime minister after the 2007 elections but that post has since been abolished.

However his record has been undermined by soaring food prices, ongoing high unemployment and major corruption scandals.

The election commission has said about 25 percent of polling stations won't have network coverage, meaning officials will have to move to find a better signal and transmit results by satellite telephones.

Not least because in 2008 Kibera's market was burned to the ground while protesters fought pitched battles with armed police.

One local newspaper reported that the authorities had sent large amounts of body bags to Kisumu, the city in Kenya's far west where the Luo are a majority.

The 72-year-old Odinga, is taking his fourth and what many believe will be his last attempt at the presidency.

The growing national and global expectation over the past few hours took a more dramatic turn after the government's announcement of the mobilization of an unprecedented number of 180,000 soldiers to guard the election.

Odd things always happen before Kenyan elections - and this year is no exception.

Though there were fears among voters when the electoral official in charge was murdered few days before the election.

The electoral commission insists it has run all necessary tests to safeguard the tallying and transmission of results, although a partial test laid on last week for the media had some glitches.



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