By Sandra Birungi
Today, Monday March 4th 2013 has seen Kenyans line up to cast their vote to see who next will become president after Mwai Kibaki.
The Kenya presidential elections 2013 are currently going on with nationals already lining up to cast their vote. As early as 6pm, people had already started lining up in long ques to begin voting.
On Friday, out going president, President Mugabe called onto the Kenyans to cast their vote and maintain peace even after their candidate loses. “Cast your vote and keep the peace. Let us send a clear message to the world that our democracy has come of age. A peaceful vote is a vote for a secure, prosperous and stable Kenya,” he said.
Security has already been beefed up in the whole country to avoid a recap of the 2007 post-election violence. Prison guards and game rangers have been brought in to help police keep the peace at approximately 33,000 polling stations. Voters will fill out six separate ballots, from president down to county ward representative and a new county post reserved for women.
Eight candidates are vying for the presidency, Raila Odinga, the Kenyan prime minister, and his deputy Uhuru Kenyatta, Musalia Mudavadi (Amani), Martha Karua (Narc Kenya), Peter Kenneth (Eagle), James ole Kiyiapi (RBK), Paul Muite (Safina) and Mohamed Abduda Dida (ARK). Of these, Odinga and Kenyatta are running head to head and the battle is really mostly between the two of them. They have promised to respect the result and urged their supporters to refrain from violence.
About 99,000 police officers have been deployed around the country, at polling stations and vote-counting centers. Polling stations were opened from 06:00 to 18:00 local time. Official results will be announced by 11 March by the electoral commission.
To win the country’s presidency, a candidate is expected to get more than 50% of the vote. In case no candidate obtains the required percentage, there will be a run-off on 11 April.