Kenyans turn out in their millions to vote

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Kenyans turn out in their millions to vote

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Kenyans have turned out in their millions to vote in the country’s presidential election.

It has been relatively peaceful so far, with many saying memories of the violence of 2007 have influenced behaviour.

“The voter turnout has been overwhelming and by 5 p.m. this evening our own indications were that over 70 % have turned out.” said Ahmed Isaack Hassan from the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission.

There is more than basic political preferences riding on this result. Kenyans hope it will help restore the nation’s image after a wave of bloodshed followed the last vote.

To win outright, a candidate must poll more than 50 percent of the votes cast, otherwise the top two face a run-off, provisionally set for April.

Exit polls from Monday give the edge to Uhuru Kenyatta, the 51-year-old deputy prime minister over his main rival, 68-year-old prime minister Raila Odinga.

Kenyatta and Odinga were running neck and neck in the polls before the vote, well ahead of the rest of the field.

Some say the real test will come when the final results emerge. At least 15 died in unrest as voting got underway on Monday.