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Live Updates: Kenya General Elections


Kenyans cast their vote in a general election at the Mutomo primary school near Gatundu, north of Nairobi, early Monday morning
Kenyans cast their vote in a general election at the Mutomo primary school near Gatundu, north of Nairobi, early Monday morning
Our live updates have now concluded. You can read through all our posts, starting from the time the polls opened on March 4 until the IEBC announced its official results on March 9. The latest update is at the top, and all times are in Kenyan local time.

March 9

And with that, we will wrap up our live updates on Kenya's general elections. Thank you for joining us over the past week, and for sharing your thoughts, hopes and humor with us. We'll now resume our regular coverage, which you can find in the Africa section of our website.

After being declared the elected president by the IEBC, Uhuru Kenyatta gives his acceptance speech, promising, "I will honor the will of Kenyans and ensure that my government protects their rights and acts, without fear or favor, in the interests of our nation."

He congratulates the IEBC for "the most free, the most fair election in our nation's history" and pledges to support them in improving the efficiency of elections.

Kenyatta reaches out to the other parties and coalitions, emphasizing the need to work together and offering them friendship and cooperation, and thanks Odinga for "for his spirited campaign." He requests, "To those that are celebrating, let us be modest in our victory," and to others, "let us keep in mind the broader victory of Kenya and continue to maintain peace."

Kenyatta also addresses the international community, saying, "we recognize and accept our international obligations" and will cooperate with international institutions, asking the international community to respect Kenya's sovereignty.

"The challenges are many. We need to be able to work together. Elections will always come and go, but Kenya remains."

In a statement to the press, Prime Minister Raila Odinga says, "We will shortly move to court to challenge the outcome that the IEBC announced…," calling the election "tainted," but asks supporters not to resort to violence. "Any violence now could destroy this nation for ever."

"Let the Supreme Court determine whether the outcome announced by the IEBC is a lawful one," Odinga says. In response to a question from the media, he says he will respect the court's decision, whichever way it rules.

OFFICIAL IEBC DECLARATION: Uhuru Kenyatta elected president of Kenya.

Final vote tally:
Uhuru Kenyatta - 6,173,433 (50.07%)
Raila Odinga - 5,340,546
Musalia Mudavadi - 483,981
Peter Kenneth - 72,786
Mohamed Abouda Dida - 52,848
Martha Wangari Karua - 43,881
James Legilisho Kiyiapi - 40,998
Paul Kibugi Muite - 12,580
Total votes cast - 12,330,028
Voter turnout: 86%

Hassan: "I therefore declare Uhuru Kenyatta the duly elected president of the republic of Kenya."

IEBC Chairman Hassan: "There can be victory without victims, you can be tall without standing on my head."

IEBC Chairman Issak Hassan:

"On the 4th of March 2013 we had a date with destiny, a rendezvous with history."
The Commission is "satisfied overall that the election was credible and transparent."

Hassan says the Commission has learned lessons from this election and will address these problems.

IEBC CEO James Oswago says, "This was the most complex election that this country has had ... It was an extremely challenging time, it was an extremely complex undertaking."

Oswago says Kenya learned a lot from the 2007 elections, but one thing that wasn't in the report was how to deal with victory and defeat. "We have to celebrate and celebrate mightily, but there's a thin line between energetic celebration and irrational exuberance."

Democracy is about diversity, but also humility, "particularly humility at the end of an election process."

The IEBC announcement is now underway...

We may still be waiting for an official announcement from the IEBC, but presidential candidates Martha Karua and Peter Kenneth have already expressed their congratulations for Uhuru Kenyatta.

Martha Karua
"Congratulations to president elect Uhuru Kenyatta and deputy president elect William ruto. Kenyans have spoken I respect their choice"

Peter Kenneth
"I've spoken to Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta and congratulated him and Hon. Ruto on their presidential election victory. I wish them God's blessings"

Twitter comes through with a bit of election-based humor while we wait for the IEBC's announcement:

"When IEBC said they were announcing winner at 11am....did they mean 11am+1 ama?"
- tweet from @MacOtani
"Never take #iebc timings, always provisional '@paulakahumbu: So has anything been officially announced yet?'"
- tweet from @JNgigi
"How cud iforget.....IEBC was counting the time manually! Aargh!"
- tweet from @mungalambuvi

"IEBC is now reporting a bug that multiplies their time by 8 minutes for each minute we wait."

David Kimaiyo, inspector general of police, urges Kenyans to maintain the peace and to return to normalcy:

"In a real sense, a democratic competition run in strict accordance with the rule of law does not have losers."
"Let us accept the outcome of the election in peace and in the spirit of fair play."
- tweet from @SpokesmanKE


VOA's Gabe Joselow calculates the voter turnout at over 85%, tweeting:
"Compare USA(2008) 64% UK(2010) 65.1% India(2009) 58.2% Japan(2012) 59.3% Ghana(2012) ~80%"

When the IEBC announced the last constituency at a little after 2am, some were looking forward to finally getting some sleep:

"78 hours on the sofa, glued to the tv, showerd twice. All culminating to a #UhuRuto victory #KenyaDecides Congrats!!!"
- tweet from @EugeneWanex

"IEBC declares it safe for Kenyans to sleep now following days of election-induced keshas."
- tweet from @mosesmuya

But sleep was not in the cards in many neighborhoods:

"And vuvuzelas rent the air in the hood..... #kenyadecides"
- tweet from @qwezinsky

"@LarryMadowo @ntvkenya Well, now that the fat lady has sung, some guys in #ruaka felt they should as well...vuvuzelas and all!"
- tweet from @NjeriKihangah

"I just hope these people driving around hooting & screaming realize Uhuru won't be offering fuel refunds."
- tweet from @KoomeGitobu

We're awaiting the IEBC's official announcement of the presidential results, scheduled for around 11 am. In the meantime, here are the full provisional results released overnight when the last constituencies were announced, according to the IEBC's results board:
Uhuru Kenyatta - 6,173,433
Raila Odinga - 5,340,546
Musalia Mudavadi - 483,981
Peter Kenneth - 72,786
Mohamed Abouda Dida - 52,848
Martha Wangari Karua - 43,881
James Legilisho Kiyiapi - 40,998
Paul Kibugi Muite - 12,580
Total votes cast - 12,338,667
Rejected votes - 108,975
Valid votes - 12,222,980

March 8

02:30 (March 9)

The IEBC has just announced results from the last six constituencies, meaning 291/291 constituencies are now in. The IEBC says it will be doing an audit on these numbers and making time to meet party agents to "sort out any issues" before declaring a final result at around 11am.

These are the results that the IEBC is describing as "provisional," pending that final audit:
Uhuru Kenyatta - 6,173,433
Raila Odinga - 5,340,546
Total votes cast - 12,338,667

These provisional numbers give Kenyatta 50.03% of the vote, which would be enough to avoid a runoff. Remember, the formula to win the presidency is 50% of the total vote +1 additional vote (and 25% of the vote in more than half of the counties).

Reporter John Ngirachu tweets, "One day, hopefully, you'll tell your grandkids about Bomas 2013."

And with that, we'll leave you for the night. We'll resume updates as final results are available or as events warrant.

00:05 (March 9)
IEBC Commissioner Yusuf Nzibo announces the final declaration of results will now happen at around 11am Saturday.

"As you know we had planned to finish this exercise by midday today. Unfortunately because of the need for integrity and further scrutiny, the process has been slow."

"Happy International Women's Day to all Kenyan women. We celebrate your resilience, appreciate your role in nation building and keeping peace," tweeted Peter Kenneth this morning.

"@Peter_Kenneth thanks Peter"
- tweet from @marthakarua

Is the election like a soap opera?

"Waiting for the final IEBC update. Wondering if this how women feel when a soap is in its last episode."
- tweet from @njooro
"Yawn !! RT @MrYoungScholar: 'Previously, on keeping up with the IEBC..'"
- tweet from @okoboshi
"IEBC tallying is like the Bold and the beautiful. If you stop watching and come back after months, [it] is still the same."
- tweet from @_wangwe
A tired election worker sits to make a phone call surrounded by his papers at the National Tallying Center.
A tired election worker sits to make a phone call surrounded by his papers at the National Tallying Center.
Or like a football game?

"With the patience we've had, I think its safe to conclude that most Kenyans are #Arsenal fans!"
- tweet from @TonnyAnguthi
"The #KenyaDecides thing is beginning to look like the #ManCity vs #ManU thing last season: a very tense finish!"
- tweet from @joshmali

VOA's Mariama Diallo spoke with Kenyans living in Washington, D.C. and they shared their hopes for the next president, whoever he may be:

"I'd like to see the country move forward economically, create jobs, be secure and all these other aspects. And I think either one of the candidates has a very good chance of doing it." - Chris Matai

"Whoever wins should just be able to safeguard all the reforms and progress we've made. The other thing is just pushing forward our economic development. If we can continue on the path that we've been in over the past 10 years, all the livelihood of the Kenyans will be improved." - Mwangi Chegue

"I hope that whoever is the president will communicate strongly verbally and also through their actions that he's a president for all Kenyans. Moving forward ... the future of Kenya really depends on how the provisions in the new constitution are going to be implemented." - Ateino Odur

"Moving forward i expect to see more democracy and power to the people and progress." - Margaret Kamba

We mentioned yesterday that the IEBC sign language interpreter was becoming something of a celebrity on Twitter. Well...

The official IEBC results show Uhuru Kenyatta holding onto his slight lead against Raila Odinga with fewer than 50 constituencies now left to be announced. But as new results roll in, Kenyatta's percentage of the total votes cast has been jumping back and forth over the crucial 50%+1 line.

With 251 constituencies reporting, the IEBC board shows:
Uhuru Kenyatta: 5,417,942
Raila Odinga: 4,673,257

The ICC has postponed the trial for William Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang until May 28. It was originally planned for April 10. Yesterday the court also announced it was postponing the trial for Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Muthuara, with the new date provisionally set for July 9.

Rumors had been flying that the IEBC press conference might be announcing final results, so Oswago's statement wasn't exactly what some tweeps were hoping for:

"I believe we are all being taught #Patience. No longer will we scream at Microwaves to hurry up and #Faiba to download faster. iSwear"
- tweet from @Namale

"The wait continues.. patience my fellow Kenyans patience!"
- tweet from @EveKopar

"this election has been sponsored by #redbull"
- tweet from @Jorammwinamo

In response to a question, IEBC CEO Oswago says he's received a 411 alert that the case brought by civil society to the High Court asking for vote tallying to be halted has been dismissed.
Security and bodyguards of the election commission chairman stand as he delivers a statement to the media, at the National Election Center
Security and bodyguards of the election commission chairman stand as he delivers a statement to the media, at the National Election Center

IEBC CEO James Oswago opens his press conference with a joke: "A minor reason why I'm here is to show that I'm neither in prison nor am I dead...but I'm stressed though. And very tired."

"This is a difficult process because you have to get it right the first time ... the important thing is to put in place a mechanism where even if mistakes occur they can be detected and very quickly corrected."

Oswago says there has been a disconnect between the results being announced and those being keyed in, and that the process has been temporarily halted to make the correction, but he says this should not be a big worry.

All the returning officers have now arrived, he says, and the work will be done by tonight. "We are dedicated and determined that this process must end up today."

He says at the end of the process he wants people to be able to say, "It was not brought as fast as expected, but the quality is beyond reproach."

If you haven't yet seen Musalia Mudavadi's statement conceding the presidential election, he told his supporters that "you did your best and as in every competition there will be a winner. We are not that winner for now and I appeal to you to keep the faith as we look to the future with hope."

"This election has been a living demonstration of universal and popular democracy at its highest and noblest levels."

Mudadavi also said he has spoken to Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga to congratulate them on their performance so far, and to remind them of the need to keep the peace.

"I have pointed out to them that all of us may have misgivings about some issues in the conduct of elections. However, Kenya is bigger than the sum total of presidential candidates and our supporters’ wishes."

"I have assured them of my full support and that of all my supporters across the country in this endeavour for peace."

Mudavadi is in third place according to the IEBC's official results.


As a reminder, here's what it takes to win the presidency.

The constitution states:

A candidate shall be declared elected as President if the candidate receives -
(a) more than half of all the votes cast in the election; and
(b) at least twenty-five percent of the votes cast in each of more than half of the counties.

The IEBC indicated in a briefing earlier this week that "all the votes cast" includes both valid votes and rejected votes.

That means to avoid a runoff, a candidate must receive 50 percent of the total votes cast plus one additional vote.

With more than 50 constituencies left to be announced by the IEBC, the race is still close and could change dramatically in either direction. But some on Twitter are saying, that for them at least, the tally now is more about whether we will go to a runoff than about who comes out on top:

"The race is no longer Uhuru Versus Raila. It has narrowed down to UK Versus 50% #KEpolls2013"
- tweet from @EricLatiff

"So far the race is btwn {UK vs 50 +1} {RAO vs Run-off} #KenyaDecides"
- tweet from @Nel_kimz

A nice thought from Twitter as we continue to wait and watch results roll in:

"Ladies and gentlemen it has been 5 days of high adrenaline I can tell you today hug an opponent say it has been a good fight #KenyaDecides"
- tweet from @fokango

IEBC Commissioner Ambassador Yusuf Nzibo tells VOA's Peter Clottey in an interview late last night that he is "very hopeful" of being able to announce a final result in the presidential election today. "Most of the officers did arrive Thursday night."

He also says he expects political parties to accept the results as announced by the IEBC. "Remember, the results are not being counted at the Bomas of Kenya. These are results that had already been announced at each polling station, where party agents had gone through them and certified results."

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On Facebook, the IEBC asks:

"It takes time to clear with Returning Officer once they arrive at the tallying centre. The figures have to be audited and all ballots & votes accounted for. We have to get it right. Integrity supersedes speed here but we are trying, aren't we?"

The post has over 500 comments after less than 10 minutes, most of which are answering yes.

Good morning. As you wake up this morning, the number of reported constituencies has now broken the 200 mark (out of 291 total), and Uhuru Kenyatta is still holding onto a lead.

Just a reminder: We won't be posting minute-by-minute official results here, just the big milestones and the final outcome. Several media outlets are posting results live on Twitter, including: @ntvKenya @KTNKenya @CitizenTVNews
March 7

And we'll leave you for the night with this thought from Twitter:

"#IEBC please do not announce the results before tomorrow 1000hrs. Need to catch some sleep."
- tweet from @saemaigo

With 162 constituencies reported, Uhuru Kenyatta is holding onto a slim lead, but is below the 50%+1 threshold needed to avoid a runoff. We'll resume updates as final results are available or as other events warrant. Thanks for joining us!

VOA's Harun Maruf spoke to Kenyan Defense Minister and Jubilee Coalition winner of a Senate seat in Garissa Yusuf Haji, who described the CORD's statement calling for the vote tally to be halted as "unfortunate and uncalled for."

He also expressed confidence there would not be a runoff election.

Haji's opponent in the Senate race, long-time MP and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Farah Maalim, has alleged fraud, and in response to those allegations Haji said:

"I think it is very unfortunate that people can give all sorts of reasons for their losing without really weighing properly what they are saying ... People voted their wish, they have made their decision."

We have now passed the halfway point - more than 145 constituencies have reported their results.

With 145 constituencies reported, the official results were:
Uhuru Kenyatta: 3,300,711
Raila Odinga: 2,967,730

Rejected votes: 63,471

The IEBC says 11 returning officers have yet to arrive in Nairobi.
In an attempt to fill the long stretches of time without briefings to the media or announcement of electoral results, a choir sings songs in front of electoral results boards at the National Tallying Center
In an attempt to fill the long stretches of time without briefings to the media or announcement of electoral results, a choir sings songs in front of electoral results boards at the National Tallying Center

The IEBC briefings may be launching a new celebrity:

"@Wajc @iHendyGal I thought I was the only one digging the sign language during the IEBC briefings."
- tweet from @Warhia

"My 3yr Old girl asking if the sign guy has ran out of battery coz he is not speaking"
- tweet from @mohamedrashid76

"Hehehe! A little humor, when the IEBC commissioners are talking, watch the sign language guy signing "Paul Muite" :D Hilarious!"
- tweet from @bbe_MAMA

"Watch IEBC's sign-language translator, for Muite he rubs his eyes & for Kiyiapi he flashes a gap-tooth sign with his fingers"
- tweet from @FilmKenya

"@IEBC i think the guy doing the sign language is doing so much work hope he's paid as well #goodpayforcivilservants"
- tweet from @RusianC

U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec releases a statement calling on candidates and political parties to maintain peace, show restraint.

"We continue to urge that any disputes involving the results be resolved peacefully through the Kenyan legal system."

Godec encourages Kenyans to come together "to realize the full promise of the new constitution." "A peaceful outcome to the election will help promote economic growth, advance reforms, and build a better future for all Kenyans."

Back to business as usual can't come too soon for some Kenyan tweeps:

"#KenyaDecides > #KenyaStillDeciding > #KenyaDecidesToday! > #MaybeTomorrow? > #OneDayKenyaWillDecide!"
- tweet from @MizMuli

"This music. This election results music. It will intermittently play in your head FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. #KenyaDecides"
- tweet from @ItsMugambi

"Wait...why is KBC using the score from Pirates of the Carribean movies as the underlay for the results from the IEBC?"
- tweet from @Ramah_Nyang

"Rejected ballots soon to hold press conference after tally goes from 300,000 to 40,000 losing 3rd horse spot #Choice2013 #KenyaDecides"
- tweet from @ndumek

It's back to business tomorrow. The spokesman for the Kenyan government, Muthui Kariuki, writes:

"There must be no further interruption of services to Wananchi. All public officers must report to work tomorrow, headcount to be conducted."
- tweet from @MuthuiKariuki

In a statement, the Elections Observation Group calls the vote counting process "up to the set standards" and notes that "party agents requested a recount in the presidential election in only 2.8% of the polling streams."

ELOG emphasizes that the manual tallying process is recognized by law and is credible, but adds, "What clearly is lost is efficiency and transparency, hence the delay and anxiety."

Kenyan Presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta casts his vote, accompanied by his wife Margaret Wanjiru Gakuo, right, at the Mutomo primary school near Gatundu, north of Nairobi, in Kenya, March 4, 2013.
Kenyan Presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta casts his vote, accompanied by his wife Margaret Wanjiru Gakuo, right, at the Mutomo primary school near Gatundu, north of Nairobi, in Kenya, March 4, 2013.
The ICC has set the provisional trial date for Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Muthaura as July 9, postponed from April 11. Defense attorneys had requested the delay to examine new evidence.

IEBC Chairman Hassan explains that the discrepancy between the number of rejected votes reported in the provisional results and the official results was the result of a computation error.

"During the provisional results transmission there was an error in the way the program here was written ... and so for all rejected votes for any candidate, they were being multiplied by 8."

Asked about CORD's calls to stop the tally, Hassan says, "We cannot stop tallying. This is a legal process ... if anyone has any objection to these results, there's a clear, legal process under the constitution."

IEBC Chairman Hassan says in a press conference that the commission has so far not seen a situation in which the total valid votes cast exceeded the number of registered voters, and reiterates that by law such a situation would call for an automatic cancellation of those results.

(That law is regulation 83 of the Elections Act, which states: "...where the returning officer finds the total valid votes in a polling station exceeds the number of registered voters in that polling station, the returning officer shall disregard the results of the count of that polling station in the announcement of the election results...")

Hassan: "There's no room to doctor the results whatsoever by any election official, and if any election official aids or abets election malpractice, that election official bears personal criminal liability."

"The results you're seeing declared ... these are the people you have elected."

"I did not vote in the election, neither did the commissioners," he says, reiterating that the commission is required to be impartial and that all commissioners took an oath of office.


After CORD's statement this morning expressing concerns about the tallying process and calling for a recount, some on Twitter expressed frustration with the political parties:

"#leaders should revert to the judicial system if they suspect unfair play, #chaguapeace & stay peaceful.#Kenya #Decision2013"
- tweet from @ahechoes

"Mr Politician, you refuse electronic tallying, you refuse manual tallying, You want IEBC to measure in Kilos ? #KenyaDecides"
- tweet from @SamGichuro<

"Hav another electn without @RailaOdinga & @UKenyatta each thks they r being rigged out. Sry guys its the pple being rigged out #KenyaDecides"
- tweet from @iDEASUG

"#KenyaDecides HERE IS THE SOLUTION RAO and UK shuld be locked in a warehouse with the 10 million votes N they count for themselves"
- tweet from @Protuswaweru

Just a note: We won't be posting minute-by-minute official results here, just the big milestones and the final outcome. Several media outlets are posting results live on Twitter, including: @ntvKenya @KTNKenya @CitizenTVNews

March 6

01:00 (March 7)
The IEBC has now reported official results from nearly 50 constituencies out of a total 291 (290 plus the diaspora). Uhuru Kenyatta has a slight lead so far in these very early official results, and we'll be watching tomorrow to see how the race develops. The IEBC has said we can likely expect a final outcome on Friday.

We'll also be watching the number of rejected votes, which so far seems a bit lower in the official reports than what we were seeing from provisional results.

And with that we'll conclude our live updates for today. We'll resume updates as final results are available or as other events warrant. Thanks for joining us!

On Straight Talk Africa, VOA's Abdushakur Aboud described the scene at the IEBC's election center earlier today:

"There was a mood of confusion at that center. Just imagine the amount of journalists - there are 5,000 journalists recorded - and when they were coming in they were trying to get in together with the representatives of each party.

Following the failing yesterday of the electronic system, today they had to bring in all the heads of the constituencies, but at the same time they had to bring in political representatives. So each party wanted to have its own representative at the counting table and that created a confusion. Each one wanted the tally to be done differently.

At one point the chairman, Hassan, had to come down on the floor to calm people, took two delegates from each party, went to his office and they discussion, and they agreed how to continue counting."

"It's highly highly secured. You have to pass a lot of security checkpoints before you even get into the big auditorium. And actually the media today were given special passes to be able to go in."


VOA's Gabe Joselow explains the rejected votes issue on Africa News Tonight:

"[The IEBC has] changed the way that they're tabulating the results. Before they were not including any of the rejected ballots in the total votes counted. Now they are including htose rejected ballots. They're not awarding them to any candidate, they're just including them in the total. But what that does is it changes the percentage that the candidates have won so far."

In depth:

What is a rejected vote?

According to the Elections Act, rejected ballot is a ballot that was cast, but during the counting process is found to:
- be missing required security features, have marks for more than one candidate or be otherwise unclear about which candidate was being chosen, be unmarked, or have a serial number that cannot be verified.

The Elections Act says these ballots will "be void and shall not be counted."

It also specifies that a ballot where a vote is marked outside the proper place, with more than one mark, or with writing that could identify the voter, should not be automatically rejected. These can be counted if the voter's intention is clear and the voter cannot be identified with the information on the ballot.

Although not specified in the Elections Act, the IEBC has also said that ballots that were cast in the wrong box are also rejected, and that this was the most prevalent cause of rejected ballots during the mock voting exercise.

Why do rejected votes matter?

The count of rejected ballots was already in the hundreds of thousands as of yesterday, according to the IEBC's provisional results. And the big question is how these rejected ballots affect the presidential race.

UPDATE MARCH 7: The IEBC has said a glitch in their software caused the number of rejected votes to be multiplied by eight in the provisional results. With half of constituencies reporting, the official number of rejected votes stands at about 63,500.

The constitution states that:
A candidate shall be declared elected as President if the candidate receives:
- more than half of all the votes cast in the election; and
- at least twenty-five per cent of the votes cast in each of more than half of the counties.

If rejected ballots are included in the count of "all the votes cast," which is how the IEBC has indicated it will calculate results, it becomes much harder for any candidate to pass the 50%+1 mark needed to win a victory in the first round.

To illustrate the impact of these rejected votes: The provisional results were originally being calculated based on valid votes cast, and with a little over 40% of results in, Uhuru Kenyatta was listed at 53% of the vote and Raila Odinga at 42%. Including rejected votes in the total votes cast would drop each candidate by about 3 percentage points.

The Jubilee Coalition has said it disagrees with the IEBC's decision to include rejected ballots in its calculation of all votes cast.

The IEBC's announcement that results are expected on Friday elicits more calls for patience:

"Friday will be the longest two days...feels like years away. God teach me to be patient...and do this fast!"
- tweet from @GilgalMedia

"Dear Kenyans, we have waited 5 bloody yrs for this election, Friday is just around the corner! Tuweni wapole na #TunawesWait!"
- tweet from @iAlen

IEBC Chairman Hassan says he expects there will be a final result in the presidential race by Friday. All the returning officers should be in Nairobi by tomorrow. "We want to be realistic with all of you."

Hassan also admits failures with the electronic vote transmission system, but says "luckily now we're able to shift gears and start announcing the official results." It was a "failure on the part of the system which we developed as a commission in house, a failure on the part of the configuration of the phones, and lack of proper training for the staff that was supposed to use the phones."

During the press conference, Hassan appeals several times "for the Commission to be allowed to complete its work."
Electoral workers engage in the vote tally verification process at the National Tallying Center
Electoral workers engage in the vote tally verification process at the National Tallying Center
Programming note: Today's episode of Straight Talk Africa will be dedicated to a discussion of the elections. The guests will include:
Gabe Joselow, VOA reporter
Mwangi S. Kimenyi, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution
Joel Barkan, senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

Is it time to get back to business as usual? Some on Twitter are suggesting as much:

"let us all stop being lazy and go back to work. IEBC might release the results on Sunday for all we know"
- tweet from @jomwka

"@UKenyatta @RailaOdinga Would you hold a joint press conference encouraging Kenyans to get back to work?"
- tweet from @Ramah_Nyang

"The govt would like to reassure Kenyans there is ample security, the best way to preserve peace right now is to resume normalcy #tunaweswait"
- tweet from @SpokesmanKE, the official Twitter account for the Office of Public Communications and Government Spokesperson

Safaricom, which clarified in a press statement that it was one of several service providers contracted to provide network connectivity for the IEBC, says it was not responsible for any issues with the mobile transmission of results. "The Safaricom mobile and virtual private network has remained robust with 100% uptime in all areas where coverage was to be provided."

"Safaricom did not and does not have any role in the technical design, management or specification of the servers, the mobile software application nor the graphic presentation of the results data used by the IEBC."

IEBC Chairman Hassan says 53 returning officers, out of 290, have arrived at the national tallying center, and has organized airlifts to speed the return of those in farflung areas.

10 audit teams will receive, verify and validate presidential results as declared at polling stations and constituency centers.

Hassan says from now the IEBC will provide regular updates with results from the constituencies, and reads out the diaspora results:

Diaspora results: Kiyiapi 7, Karua 31, Dida 6, Mudavadi 20, Muite 1, Kenneth 78, Odinga 1,224, Kenyatta 951. 88.3% turnout.

The British High Commissioner in Kenya speaks against accusations that international observers are trying to influence the election:

"Unhelpful (& wrong) claims of international observers interference in election. Observers observing"
- tweet from @HCCTurner

"Not true that UK has position/view on rejected votes; that is decision for Kenyans & if necessary Supreme Court"
- tweet from @HCC Turner

Update: The specific accusations in question come from the Jubilee Coalition. Our Nairobi bureau chief Gabe Joselow reports that a Jubilee press conference "accuses British High Commission and UN rep Maina Kiai of trying to influence the #IEBC."


In a statement, the Law Society of Kenya chastised politicians for making potentially inflammatory statements while the country waits for election results:

"LSK Chairman Eric Mutua said pronouncements by some politicians from both the Cord and Jubilee Coalition amount to incitement. Mutua said that the statements either protesting the delay or insinuating impartiality of the Independent Election and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) were uncalled for. “It is ill-advised for politicians from both coalitions to issue such statements that may be misinterpreted by their supporters,” Mutua said."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said he was "encouraged" by the election and the "inspiring images of Kenyans turning out in large numbers."

"A peaceful, credible conclusion to the election is within Kenya’s reach and would be a significant step for Kenyan democracy and stability."

Calls for peace and patience are dominating Twitter:

"We can wait a little longer for the results if we waited on long queues"
- tweet from @Morris Ndegwa

"#KOT even the word "PATIENCE" is trending #kenya-wide...TunawesWait"
- tweet from @EssieWairumbi

But Kenyans also haven't lost their sense of humor:

"At this rate the results are trickling in, the two top candidates may just concede defeat to #IEBC and let Kibaki continue on!"
- tweet from @MozDefinitely

"Good morning, lets be patient, especially the twitter returning officers :)"
- tweet from @SamGichuru

VOA's Peter Clottey spoke to John Stremlau, the vice president for peace programs at the Carter Center, one of the groups that observed the election process. Stremlau called the election "peaceful" and "vibrant" and commended the "patience of the voters."

"Let’s hope that the results when they become known will lead to the winner showing generosity to the defeated, and the defeated accepting with magnanimity the loss."

He said the other observer groups "have all seen the same thing that we have seen, which is competency and determination and basically congenial and peaceful good will by the large majority of Kenyans…to pick a new leader."
President Rupiah Banda with Dr. John Stremlau, the vice president for peace programs at the Carter Center and Mercy Njoroge, national coordinator for the Carter Center's poll observer group.
President Rupiah Banda with Dr. John Stremlau, the vice president for peace programs at the Carter Center and Mercy Njoroge, national coordinator for the Carter Center's poll observer group.

In a statement, the U.S. State Department congratulates Kenya on a peaceful vote.

"We encourage the electoral commission to continue its work in a thorough, transparent, and professional manner."

"We encourage all Kenyans to come together and move forward peacefully to realize the full promise and benefits of the new constitution. We urge that any election disputes be resolved peacefully through the Kenyan legal system."

The IEBC says on Facebook that more than 70 returning officers have arrived at the Bomas Election Center to file their results. Last night they posted that measures had been put in place to ensure the returning officers could deliver results by early Wednesday.

March 5

This concludes our live updates for today. As the day ends, the big questions for many voters are the slow pace at which results have been returned and the status of hundreds of thousands of rejected votes, but calls for patience are still prevalent.

Right now the provisional results have Uhuru Kenyatta holding onto his lead in the presidential race. The IEBC has said that it will have official results from the constituencies starting tomorrow.

We'll resume updates as results are available or as other events warrant. Thanks for joining us!

In the face of impatience, many are calling for understanding:

"Respect this IEBC guys they are doing double the work there was previosly. New seats Women rep, Governor and Senator"
- tweet from @RGeez

"For the first time in the history of Kenya we have 6 elective slots n we are using technology.lets understand and be patient"
- tweet from @Deejaylean

"Give Isaak a break, he's just dead beat. Let's all pick this up tomorrow"
- tweet from @TimmDagori

"The law has given the IEBC a 7 DAY period after elections to release results... Election results are NOT instant coffee.."
- tweet from @bar_rack

IEBC Chairman Hassan says the commission is aware of the concern over the slow pace at which provisional results are coming in. He says there's been delay in transmission of results from the polling stations, but that, contrary to rumors, systems have not crashed.

The delay is "caused by the large number of voters, the large number of seats being contested, and the fact that each have to be counted at the tallying centers."

According to Hassan, the IEBC will announce official results for all 290 constituencies beginning tomorrow. The official, legal results are the ones being brought by the returning officers, not the ones being delivered electronically - those are provisional results only.

Peter Kenneth concedes in presidential race, tweeting:

"I thank those who believed & voted for me. I respect the will of Kenyans & give the next President of Kenya my best wishes. God bless Kenya"

He was in fourth place according to the provisional results released by the IEBC.

With results coming in slowly, some are starting to get impatient ...

"Starting to get anxious again,the results are trickling in too slowly!"
- tweet from @LucianaOkwiri

"Frustration is the mother of Conspiracy Theories during such times."
- tweet from @MmojaWao

... while others are moving on to other interests:

"Must say I'm more nervous about tonight's UCL game than the #KenyaDecides results."
- tweet from @MainaKamunya

"Big question in #Kenya tonight: whether to watch the live vote tally or Man United vs Real Madrid"
- tweet from @t_mcconnell
An IEBC official inspects ballot boxes at Kasarani gymnasium, Nairobi, March 5, 2013.
An IEBC official inspects ballot boxes at Kasarani gymnasium, Nairobi, March 5, 2013.

Social media is still buzzing over the high number of rejected votes and how it could have happened:

"I'm not colour-blind, but I took time to distinguish between the beige & yellow ballots - had to read titles!"
- tweet from @annesoy

"this guy called Rejected Votes has beaten mudavadi to 3rd place."
- tweet from @patrick_wambu

In a press conference and statement, CORD expresses concern over the slow pace at which results are being released.

"We note with worry that there are those amongst our competitors who have not resisted the temptation to engage in premature celebrations that are neither based on data or fact. ... we appeal for calm and call on our supporters to relax because we are confident that after all votes are in CORD will carry the day."

The IEBC Chairman addresses the question of why there have been so many rejected votes:

He says there has not yet been an audit to find out why so many votes have been rejected. He suggests they may have been marked incorrectly. He also notes that during the mock voting exercise many voters put ballots into the wrong ballot box, and admits that the color-coding could have been better.

"The color-coding was not as good as it should have been. The green was not green enough, maybe the blue should have been more blue, maybe the colours should have been stronger."

But he says that right now the IEBC does not know if this is what happened yesterday.
Ballot boxes in Kajiado West, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Nairobi.
Ballot boxes in Kajiado West, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Nairobi.

IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan appeals for patience in a press conference. "It's not time for celebration or to commiserate."

He says the IEBC hopes to be able to project provisional results within 48 hours, but that an official result will not be available by then, emphasizing that the IEBC has seven days to announce the official results.

"Please don't jump to conclusions. The IEBC is an impartial arbiter ... please give us time to finish that process."

You can see the latest provisional results as they are released on the IEBC website at

Right now, with only about a third of polling stations reported, Uhuru Kenyatta is holding on to an early lead in provisional results. Our Nairobi bureau chief, Gabe Joselow, reports that CORD is raising concerns with the IEBC that results so far are coming mostly from Jubilee strongholds.

Remember, a presidential candidate needs 50%+1 of the vote to win. If no candidate receives this there will be a runoff.
March 4

And with that we're concluding our live updates for today. Provisional vote tallies should continue to trickle in as the night goes on, but with only about 10% in we're still a ways from a result. We'll resume updates as final results are available or as other events warrant. Thanks for joining us!

The Election Observation Group has released more figures on the state of today's voting:

68.5% of voters, on average, had voted by 4:00pm

In 55.1% of polling streams the electronic polling book failed at some point in the process

U.S. State Department Acting Deputy Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell:

"We commend the Kenyan people, many of whom have patiently waited in long lines to vote, for their active and peaceful participation in the election and we urge all candidates and their supporters to maintain peace as the results are tabulated and announced."

"We've seen some isolated instances of violence ... we condemn any violence in the strongest terms and express our condolences to the families of those victims."

"Our general impression is that [the elections have] been generally calm and peaceful and orderly, and that things are working fairly well."

In last press conference of the day, IEBC estimates voter turnout was at least 70%.

"The voter turnout has been overwhelming," said IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan.

With only a small percentage of the vote in it's too early to know anything about the results, but some on Twitter are expressing concern over the seemingly high number of spoiled votes.

"Any spoilt votes are one too many."
- tweet from @the_mumbi

"spoilt votes are slowly becoming the 3rd horse #kenyaDecides"
- tweet from @pita_hAcktivist

"I think the third force that was being talked about was rejected votes.The numbers are huge.#kenyadecides"
- tweet from @calebochenge

Praise for the IEBC's efficiency in getting provisional results out to the media as soon as they are available:

"But take a moment to appreciate that we have provisional results via an API in less than an hour"
- tweet from @kenyanpundit

The Election Observation Group reports that voting in most polling stations has ended and counting is set to begin. Some polling stations are already counting votes. The remaining polling stations could stay open as long as several more hours to accommodate those still in the queue and to make up for late openings this morning.



Countdown to the first polls closing in...

"Tick! Tock! 5 minutes to 17:00 hrs. Will polling stations close?"
- tweet from @josephakello

"Less than 4 minutes to close of voting."
- tweet from @Karanimutonga

"3 minutes to go guys let's show the world what and who we are."
- tweet from abwom

"From years to just 2 MORE MINUTES."
- tweet from echwalu

"Voting time ends."
- tweet from citizentvkenya

The Election Observation Group has released some initial findings on the process of opening the polls this morning:

99.4% of polling streams had all the necessary materials for voting
99.6% of polling streams had security officers present
8% of polling streams either did not have an electronic poll book or the electronic poll book failed
At 95.6% of polling streams ballot boxes were shown to be empty before being sealed
59.7% of polling streams opened on time (before 6:15)

The IEBC is giving its second press conference of the day. CEO James Oswago acknowledges that many stations did not open at 6:00 as planned. Stations that opened after 6:00 will stay open to compensate for the time lost. In addition, anyone who is already in the queue at the time the station is supposed to close will be allowed to vote.

Oswago says the most common complaints regarding voting are missing names in the poll book register and poor performance of the electronic voter identification device. Also cites "less-than-effective queue management."

"The commission is not in the business of hiding, or sweeping under the carpet, problems when we encounter them."

With just about an hour and a half to go until polls are supposed to close, and long lines still at many polling stations, the theme has become determination.

"Just bumped into a friend who joined the queue at 6 am & voted at 3 pm. Perseverance for this great nation."
- tweet from @Yenyewe

By the time our reporters got to Kibera primary school some people had been waiting there over six hours to vote.

"I am angry because I came here very early to vote and still the doors are closed. We are very angry. I want to cast my vote and get back to work. I make samosas and mandazi and you only sell those in the morning. "

Nick Moses:
"They've misled us at the polling station. They are opening late."

Andrew Green reports for us from Kibera, where he spoke to voter Bernard Onyango, who had arrived at midnight to get in the queue:

"We just wait patiently, because we don’t have another day. This is the only day."
Kenyans line up to vote in Nairobi.
Kenyans line up to vote in Nairobi.


Discontent has been bubbling on social media around foreign journalists and the tendency to report the negative rather than the positive.

"AM PROUD TO BE KENYAN RIGHT NOW as many Kenyans turned out to vote but ashamed of the INTERNATIONAL MEDIA for only noticing VIOLENCE!!!"
- tweet from @mac0tani

"“Millions of Kenyans Queuing Peacefully & Patiently” is not a good headline for you, International Media?"
- tweet from @sunnysunwords

CNN has been a target of this frustration in the past, and BBC reporter Daniel Howden tweeted, "Lots of voters angry with CNN preelection coverage, keep having to tell people I don't work for them."

But the main recipient of ire on Twitter today has been France 24's Stuart Norval after he tweeted, "BREAKING Gun shots fired in #Nairobi #Kenya as huge crowds fall over each other to vote. Dramatic pictures on @France24_en in 15 min"

"Name location and let our media verify that please!" responded @dungudungu. "Stop your propaganda and leave Kenya alone," wrote @SokoAnalyst. Other users have encouraged the community to report Norval's account as spam.

Professor Calestous Juma seems to have captured the mood around foreign media in a satirical tweet yesterday, which has been reshared extensively today:

"BREAKING: Foreign reporters clash in #Kenya amid growing scarcity of bad news."
- tweet from @calestous

VOA Nairobi Bureau Chief Gabe Joselow:

"Poll observer says vote in Mombasa going smoothly. Police back at stations, having withdrawn earlier after attack."

At midday, the length of some of the longer queues is becoming apparent. The IEBC and others are urging patience, but for every queuer expressing their frustration on social media, there's another saying the wait is worth it.

"This is midday.. I was here at 6, I'm almost there but I've never been in such a queue. But strong till the end."
- tweet from @Moseti_

"7 and a half hours later, I have voted. Dad is still at the polling station. Lines inside are too long"
- tweet from @AngieNicoleOD

Kenyans wait to cast their vote at a polling station in Kibera.
Kenyans wait to cast their vote at a polling station in Kibera.

"Clearly the #IEBC voter education shda centered more on how to queue coz thts where the challenge is."
- tweet from @kakinyi

"after six loong hrs..ave voted! its worth the wait...go out n vote!"
- tweet from @julzjustin

Inspector general of police David Kimaiyo has given a statement on the security situation today.

Kimaiyo fingered the MRC in two separate attacks that killed police officers this morning, one of which he said was an ambush by 200 secessionists. He said six MRC were killed and two arrested.

He also said 400 additional police have been sent to Mombasa. "People with ill intentions to disrupt elections must be stopped by all means."

"If you fail to vote out of fear, then the assailants shall have achieved their objectives. Shame them by coming out and voting in large numbers."

President Mwai Kibaki votes at Munaini Primary School in Othaya.

"BREAKING: Kibaki has just voted himself out of a job"
- tweet from @RobertAlai

Presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta casts his ballots at Mutomo Primary School, Gatundu.

He says he's aware of the security concerns and some of the problems with electronic voter ID machines, but "We are encouraging all voters not to be discouraged, to continue to turn out in large numbers, even in Mombasa."

Susan Wasike, presiding officer at Milimani polling station tells us how voting has been going there:

"So far I can say it's okay. We have started at 6:10, I think that is within the allowed time. And as you can see, everything is flowing. So far I can say we have no hiccups."

IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Haasan is currently holding a press conference to discuss the state of voting so far:

Printed versions of the voter register are authorized to be used in areas where the electronic ID system has failed. "This is still valid and legal and people should have no cause to worry."

The vote for county assembly ward representative will be postponed in four county wards where a candidate's name was left off the ballot or the pictures/parties were placed with the wrong names. All other elections in those wards will continue as planned, but the county assembly ward representative vote will be rescheduled in those four wards for March 11.

With regard to security, "In Mandera there was an explosion, in Garissa there was an incident of shooting and in Coast there was an incident of violence ... Security has been beefed up in those regions."

Let's take a few seconds to get excited for some enthusiastic voters...

The Twitter account @GhanaDecides, established to promote voter education in advance of Ghana's elections, issues a good-natured challenge to Kenyan voters:

"Good morning Kenya! Ghana had a 80.15% turnout in the December polls. Can you beat that?"
- tweet from @GhanaDecides

VOA's Nairobi bureau chief Gabe Joselow shares the following update:

"Reports IEBC officials still not arrived at Jomvu constituency Mombasa. Polls have not opened following police killings."

Prime Minister and presidential candidate Raila Odinga casts his vote at the Old Kibera Primary School. He says Kenyans have turned up in large numbers to exercise their right to vote, and once again says that he is confident of a first round victory.

The elections get their very own "Google Doodle" on
Screenshot of today's Google Doodle for Google Kenya
Screenshot of today's Google Doodle for Google Kenya

The fact that pregnant women and those with babies get to jump the queues led @ShrewdAfrican to remark on Twitter, "Never knew there were so many pregnant women in Kenya!" while some are reporting that their polling station is inking babies so they cannot be passed around:

"Babies also being marked to prevent them from being used to cut queues more than once. #Uchaguzi #KenyaDecides"
- tweet from @dexwakhu

BBC correspondent Gabriel Gatehouse reminds:

Long queues aren't dampening some people's sense of humor:

"lets agree to use the word cue for queue today due to demand and give hope...the word itself is loooong"
- tweet from @Muvans

"Hahaha RT @mainneli: Btw, people got the perfect chance to do the Harlem Shake #Kenyadecides"
- tweet from @njooro

Presidential candidate Martha Karua casts her vote and writes on Twitter:

"Done disappointed the biometric identification kits is not working in whole of Gichugu #KenyaDecides"
- tweet from @marthakarua

Hours before the voting began Monday, police in Mombasa said an attack there killed several people, including police officers.

Queues at some voting stations started forming well before the polls were set to open:

"Got here at St George's at 4:40am and found 5people already! Gud stuff"
- tweet from @BLaimani

"Arrival time: 0605. Position on official queue: early 300s. ... Mood: expectant."
- tweet from @notmutant

Latest polls have shown the two frontrunners for the presidency, Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta, virtually tied going into election day. Both have said they are aiming for a first-round victory to avoid a run-off in April.

Rights groups expressed concern about rising tensions across the country ahead of the vote, but in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the violence that followed the 2007 election, many have been preaching messages of peace and asking their communities to accept the results, whatever they may be. "Cast your vote and keep the peace," was the message President Mwai Kibaki delivered on Friday.

Election monitors have expressed optimism that the vote will go smoothly and peacefully. Former Zambian president Rupiah Banda, who is leading the Carter Center election observers, said of the IEBC, Kenya's election commission, "I think that they have a brilliant commission, committed to delivering a free and fair election."

To help ensure a peaceful process, some 99,000 police officers have been deployed across the country, and police spokesman Charles Owino said the police will use force if necessary to contain any threats against the public.

IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Haasan had this to say:

"We as a commission have put in place a lot of efforts to ensure we’ve got officers, we have got systems that can ensure a credible and transparent elections. We would like to urge these politicians and candidates to give the commission the opportunity to prove and make sure these elections are done peacefully."