Kenyans vote in tight presidential race to replace outgoing Uhuru Kenyatta

2022-08-09 12:05:00
Kenyans vote in tight presidential race to replace outgoing Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyans are choosing their next president after an intense campaign dominated by debates about living costs, unemployment and corruption.

East Africa’s economic hub could see a presidential run-off for the first time ever as the election is expected to be a close one.

Raila Odinga, who has vied for the presidency for a quarter-century, is facing off against Deputy President William Ruto, who has played up his journey from a humble childhood to appeal to millions of struggling Kenyans long accustomed to political dynasties.

More than 22 million people are registered to vote in this election in which economic issues could be of greater importance than the ethnic tensions that have marked past votes, with sometimes deadly results.

Outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first president, cut across the usual ethnic lines by backing longtime rival Odinga after their bitter 2017 election contest. But both Odinga and Ruto have chosen running mates from the country’s largest ethnic group, the Kikuyu.

Odinga has made history by choosing running mate Martha Karua, the first woman to be a leading contender for the deputy presidency.

Rising food and fuel prices, huge government debt, high unemployment and widespread corruption mean economic issues are at the centre of an election in which unregulated campaign spending has already highlighted inequality.

Error! Error occured!