Mass ex­o­dus of vot­ers sparks Kenya poll fears

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

NAIROBI: Ahead of Kenyan polls to­day, elec­tion ob­servers said a mass ex­o­dus of peo­ple from Nairobi and former elec­toral con­flict hotspots in­di­cates vot­ers have been dis­en­fran­chised due to se­cu­rity fears.

The African Elec­tion Ob­ser­va­tion Group also said mea­sures be­ing de­ployed by party mo­bilis­ers to urge voter turnout could af­fect the fair­ness of the elec­tions and dam­age the vol­un­tary na­ture of vot­ing, cre­at­ing “a siege men­tal­ity”.

The suc­cess of the na­tional elec­toral body’s com­put­erised vot­ing sys­tem is also con­sid­ered key to the process be­ing free and fair.

Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta is seek­ing to stay in of­fice for a sec­ond and fi­nal term, while veteran op­po­si­tion leader Raila Odinga is seek­ing to un­seat him.

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