Kenya, one of Africa’s most vibrant democracies, votes on Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know about the parties, leaders and key election issues.
Nairobi, Kenya – On August 9, Kenyans are heading to the polls to pick the country’s fifth president in what pundits say will be a hotly contested election.
Four candidates are competing for the country’s top position. William Ruto, having served two terms as deputy president in the current government, is eager to succeed his current boss, who he is feuding with.
Raila Odinga, who has unsuccessfully contested the presidency four times before, is his main challenger. He has the backing of the outgoing president, Uhuru Kenyatta, his former foe. Two other candidates, George Wajackoyah and David Mwaure, complete the list.
Besides the presidential election, people will also go to the polls to vote in governors, Members of the National Assembly, senators and Members of the County Assembly.
Twelve people will be nominated to the National Assembly, according to the constitution, to represent special interest groups including people with disabilities, youths and workers.
Voting is done electronically in the second such election after a history of manual failures.
To be declared winner in Kenya’s winner-takes-all electoral system, a presidential candidate has to receive more than half of all the votes cast in the election; and at least 25 percent of the votes cast in each of at least half of the counties.
According to the constitution, if no candidate is elected, a new election has to be held within 30 days after the previous one.
IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati has said the commission is printing 22,120,458 ballot papers – the exact number of registered voters.
In Kenya, as in many parts of Africa, ideology politics are not the order of the day. Citizens are more inclined to wait for good governance and people-oriented projects, regardless of whether it comes from a socialist or capitalist government.
 
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