Although the first projections give Ruto a narrow victory, it does not seem certain that either of the two candidates will achieve the necessary threshold to be declared the winner.
The first local media projections on the results of the general elections of Kenya reveal a close presidential race between the two favorite candidatespending the official results of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC).
The vice president, William Ruth, who aspires for the first time to the Presidency at the head of the coalition Kenya Kwanza (Kenya First, in Swahili), would obtain approximately between 50.2% and 51.4% of the votes, according to the projections of different local media, such as the Daily Nation newspaper and the Citizen TV network.
His great rival, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, leading the coalition Azimio The Umoja (Aspiración a la Unidad) in his fifth attempt to govern the country, he would be left behind with a slight disadvantage, gathering between 47.9% and 48.4% of the vote. However, the IEBC has not yet published any official number, beyond the percentage of polling stations where the count has already been completed (96.3% at 09:15 GMT).
All night counting votes
Once the polling stations finish counting their votes, the forms with the results are sent electronically to the national counting center in Nairobi, where they have to be verified. The IEBC has, by law, seven days from the closing of the polling stations to publish the results
The recount began this Tuesday after the official closure of the voting centers at 5:00 p.m. local time (2:00 p.m. GMT), but it lasted throughout the night after several schools throughout the territory had to postpone their closure to guarantee their voters recorded a margin of eleven hours to vote after delays in opening due to technical and logistical problems.
Although the first projections give a adjusted victory to Ruto, It does not seem certain that either of the two candidates will reach the threshold necessary to be declared the winner in a first round: obtaining more than 50% of the votes nationally and more than 25% in the majority of the 47 counties of the country.
This scenario, if fulfilled, would lead the country to a unprecedented second round – which would have to be held within 30 days – since the establishment of multi-party democracy in 1991.
After more than two months of an intense electoral campaign, Kenyans voted this Tuesday in elections that took place calmly, except for isolated incidents.
According to the latest official data, the participation was only slightly more than 56% until 13:00 GMT on Tuesday (one hour before closing), although the IEBC trusts that this figure will finally rise to around 60 percent .
That participation is well below the total 79.5 percent registered in the 2017 elections.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.