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Vote peacefully, President Kenyatta urges Kenyans as they go to poll

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Kenyans ready to cast their vote. Photo: Reuters
People are voting in Kenya’s general election amid fears
that the result could trigger communal violence.
On the eve of the vote, President Uhuru Kenyatta appealed
for calm in a televised speech.
He urged the 19 million registered voters to turn out in
great numbers, but “in peace”. Queues formed early and some minor
stampedes were reported.

The contest pits Mr Kenyatta against his long-time rival,
Raila Odinga, and is seen as too close to call.
Mr Kenyatta, the 55-year-old son of Kenya’s founding
president, is seeking a second and final term in office.
The final week of campaigning has been marred by the murder
of a top election official and claims of vote-rigging, BBC said.
Observers say the leading candidates both avoided
inflammatory speeches as polling day drew closer. In 2007 more than 1,100
Kenyans died and 600,000 were displaced after a disputed election – an outcome
neither side wants to see repeated.
Uhuru Kenyatta (l) and Raila Odinga.
Photo: AFP
This time long snaking queues were seen at some polling
stations, and video footage at one showed people injured on the ground after an
apparent stampede.
“After you cast your ballot, please go home,” Mr
Kenyatta said on Monday.
“Go back to your neighbour. Regardless of where he or
she comes from, their tribe, their colour or their religion. Shake their hand,
share a meal and tell them ‘let us wait for the results,’ for Kenya will be
here long after this general election.”
Opposition leader Mr Odinga, of the National Super Alliance,
also addressed the public on Monday. He raised fears about vote-rigging and
claimed the deployment of at least 150,000 members of the security forces was a
ploy to intimidate voters.
However, he congratulated Mr Kenyatta on his campaign,
describing him as a “worthy opponent”.
“May the stronger candidate win tomorrow,” he

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