- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Polls in Kenya closed without major reports of violence Tuesday, easing fears that this year’s presidential election would replicate that of 2007, when a cliffhanger result sparked ethnic clashes that left more than 1,000 people dead.

Results were still coming in from more than 40,000 polling stations, a process that could take days. Five hours after the polls closed, only 23 percent of votes had been reported, with incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta in the lead by about 12 percent over National Super Alliance candidate Raila Odinga.

The few disruptions of the day included the failure of several voter-identification machines and tear gas reportedly released by security forces at protesters at a Nairobi polling station.

Kenyans expected a close election between Mr. Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga, who faced off in 2007 and 2013 as well. The winning candidate needs more than 50 percent of the vote, and at least 25 percent in 24 counties.

Pressure is on Kenya’s electoral commission to deliver accurate results. The brutal, unsolved murder of commission’s information technology manager, Christopher Msando, last week raised suspicions of interference with the electronic voting systems.

As he cast his vote, Mr. Kenyatta vowed to accept the election’s results, the BBC reported.

“To my competitors, as I have always said, in the event that they lose, let us accept the will of the people,” he said. “I am willing, myself, to accept the will of the people.”

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