Raila Odinga ahead in Kenya’s presidential race: Early results

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Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga is leading the country’s presidential race, according to partial official results, with the country remaining on tenterhooks for the final election outcome.

With just over 26 percent of votes counted, Odinga had 54 percent and his main rival Deputy President William Ruto had 45 percent, the results provided by the Kenyan election commission showed on Saturday.

The election, which was held on Tuesday, is being closely watched as a test of stability in Kenya, which is one of east Africa’s wealthiest nations and its most vibrant democracy.

Past votes in the country have been marred by rigging and deadly violence.

Odinga and Ruto are in a tight race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has reached his two-term limit. Kenyatta has endorsed Odinga after falling out with Ruto following the last election.

Official vote tallying has been proceeding slowly, fueling public anxiety.

Election commission chairman Wafula Chebukati blamed party agents, who are allowed to scrutinise results forms before they are added to the final tally.

“Agents in this exercise cannot proceed … as if we are doing a forensic audit,” he told a news briefing on Friday.

“We are not moving as fast as we should. This exercise needs to be concluded as soon as possible.”

Representatives from Odinga and Ruto’s coalitions did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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