Presidential Runoff Expected In Kenya



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In Kenya, questions have been raised about the presidential election process. The ballot count has been very slow, and hundreds of thousands of ballots have been rejected. It appears there will have to be a runoff.

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Kenya is in the midst of counting votes - slowly - in its presidential election, which went off smoothly despite fears of political violence. So far the candidate who is the favorite to win is one of the richest men in Africa and a man who is also accused of crimes against humanity. NPR's Gregory Warner has this update from Nairobi.

CHOIR: (Singing in foreign language)

GREGORY WARNER, BYLINE: A 20-person choir opened up the second day of vote counting at the National Tallying Centre in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. But behind the scenes, lawyers from Kenya's political parties were doing the singing for their clients: candidates Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta, the current front-runner. The biggest issue is what to do about the more than 300,000 spoiled ballots. These are ballots that were thrown out for some reason or another. Election rules say a candidate must win by a clear majority or the race goes to a run-off next month. It's significant that the disputes have so far been fought with legal briefs instead of machetes. The postelection violence of 2007 and 2008 that killed more than 1,200 people was fueled by widespread allegations of vote rigging. If Uhuru Kenyatta is declared the winner, then will Kenya's minority tribes accept him? And will the international community accept him? Uhuru Kenyatta is due to appear before the International Criminal Court. He's accused of crimes against humanity for his role in the aftermath of the last presidential election in instigating a campaign of rape and murder against supporters of his opponent. Gregory Warner, NPR News, Nairobi. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.