Election Day: Voting Kicks Off Countrywide in Historic Poll

  • Presidential candidates William Ruto George Wajackoyah and Raila Odinga.jpg
    Presidential candidates William Ruto George Wajackoyah and Raila Odinga.jpg
  • Millions of Kenyan voters streamed to polling stations across the country to cast their ballots as political heavyweights battle it out in what has been described as one of the country's most contested race.

    More than 22 million people have registered to vote out of a population of about 50 million with polling stations set to run from 6am to 5pm in all the 47 counties.

    In the presidential race, Deputy President William Ruto is going head-to-head with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who enjoys the backing of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

    Recent opinion polls have shown that the Azimio la Umoja Presidential candidate could edge past his Kenya Kwanza rival in the first round of the polls.

    Raila ruto
    A collage of Azimio flagbearer Raila Odinga and President William Ruto at the Kasarani and Nyayo stadia, respectively on Saturday, August 6, 2022.

    Roots Party Presidential candidate George Wajackoyah and his Agano Party counterpart, David Mwaure are also seeking to change the country's leadership dynamics with their agendas.

    But if neither of the candidates gets more than 50 per cent plus one vote of the total votes cast, the country will be forced into a run off.

    Raila is seeking to make history in his fifth stab at the country's top seat, and this will also go a long way as it will see the country get its first female deputy president if he wins the poll.

    On the other hand, the second in command has promised a bruising war with the hope of succeeding his boss, who has since turned into a political enemy.

    The voting starts amid rising scrutiny on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) which is under pressure to deliver a free, fair and verifiable election for the presidency, governorship, senatorial, Member of Parliament, Woman Representative and Member of County Assembly (MCA).

    The commission, which Wafula Chebukati leads, has already suspended governorship elections in Mombasa and Kakamega citing wrong images of candidates and details printed on the ballot papers.

    Other areas affected include parliamentary elections in Kacheliba and Pokot South. 

    On Monday, August 8, Chebukati confirmed the arrest of six IEBC officials reiterating that the commission will not hesitate to take action against those found flouting electoral rules.

    Since 2002, no election outcome has gone uncontested. In 2017 the Presidential election result was annulled by the Supreme Court citing irregularities.

    On the side, international community observers are keenly watching the polls in Kenya which is considered a beacon of stability and democracy in the East African region.

    IEBC Commissioners
    From left: IEBC vice chair Juliana Cherera, Commissioner Prof Abdi Guliye and IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati