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Kenya's presidential candidates in close race

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Kenya's presidential candidates in close race


More than 14 million Kenyans are eligible to cast their ballots today in presidential and parliamentary elections. Mobs in Kenya’s opposition heartland beat up and killed at least three policemen accused of taking part in a plan to rig the elections in favour of President Mwai Kibaki.

The 76 year-old Kibaki wrapped up the last day of campaigning with a huge rally in Nairobi’s main Uhuru Park.

Seeking re-election, Kibaki told the crowds that it is possible to continue with the job his government is doing. He denied the vote rigging accusations and urged Kenyans to stay calm.

Opposition challenger 62 year-old businessman and former political prisoner Raila Odinga has appealed to Kibaki to show respect for Kenyans by holding free and fair elections. He warned that election rigging could plunge the country into bloodshed.

Many Kenyans are encouraged by the fact that the main challenger has a chance of victory, a rare feat in African politics where the ruling parties control state machinery and sitting presidents almost never lose re-election bids.

The latest opinion polls show the two candidates, one-time allies, running neck and neck.

EU election observer Aklexander Graf Lambsdorff talked with victims of election violence in the Molo district. He says the situation should be taken care of rapidly so Kenyan citizens can exercise their democratic right to vote.

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