Voting begins in Kenya's divisive Presidential repeat election amid heightened security

Low voter turnout was witnessed at most stations and more so those based in the Opposition strongholds.

Kenyans began voting in the country's factious Presidential repeat poll that has since been boycotted by National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

Voters started streaming into polling stations as early as 5am local time on Thursday morning but voting centres opened at 6am.

Live from Umoja polling Station

Voting was delayed in some of the stations due to the rains whereas some voting centres lacked agents to confirm that the ballot boxes were empty.

Low voter turnout was witnessed at most stations and more so those based in the Opposition strongholds as NASA supporters heeded to Mr. Odinga's call to keep off the polling centres and streets where they have been protesting.

The Opposition leader on Wednesday asked his supporters to hold prayers away from polling stations or stay at home as Kenya holds what he termed a “sham repeat presidential poll”.

Even then, security has been heightened with fears that the supporters may attack the stations.

Elsewhere, at President Kenyatta’s polling centre Mutomo Primary School in Gatundu, Kiambu County, a few voters were present at the start of poll, a situation attributed to heavy rains and chilly weather.

By 6.20am, only a handful of voters had turned up in most polling centres in the area, compared to massive turnout witnessed on August 8. Poll officials were however optimistic residents would show up later once the rains subside.

The country is holding the re-run after the Supreme Court nullified the Aug 8 vote because of "irregularities and illegalities" in the voting process.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking a second and final five-year term in office. He garnered 54 percent of the votes in the annulled poll.

His main contender, Mr. Odinga, is boycotting Thursday's vote.


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