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October 1, 2022 8:57 am

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Kenyans, desperate for change, must choose new president from familiar faces

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2022-08-09T03:30:33Z

Kenyans started voting for lawmakers and a new president early on Tuesday, but many citizens desperate for relief from spiking food prices and deep-rooted corruption have little confidence the next government will deliver any change.

Large numbers of young people have not registered to vote, electoral commission figures show. Many say they are frustrated by widening inequality and an entrenched political system overseen by the same old elite. read more

“If you look at life now, the cost of living has really gone up, so we are sceptical if whoever will be elected will make any difference. Life is very hard,” said Job Simiyu, a motorbike taxi driver.

Voters started to cast their ballots shortly after the official opening of the polls at 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT).

President Uhuru Kenyatta is stepping down from the helm of East Africa’s economic powerhouse after reaching the end of his two-term limit.

The main candidates vying to replace him are far from fresh faces. William Ruto, 55, has been Kenyatta’s deputy for the past nine years, though the two men have fallen out.

Raila Odinga, 77, is a veteran opposition leader who, this time round, has won Kenyatta’s endorsement.

Many outsiders are watching the election closely. Kenya is a stable nation in a volatile region, a close Western ally that hosts regional headquarters for Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Visa and other international groups.

But inside Kenya, some are dismissing the vote for president, parliament and local authorities with a shrug.

“There seems to be growing apathy. Turnout may not be as high as it should be, because of disillusionment,” Macharia Munene, a professor of international relations at the Nairobi-based United States International University Africa, said.

Kenyatta has delivered an infrastructure boom – largely funded by foreign loans that will hang over his successors. read more

He once said there was nothing he could do to tackle corruption and the global rises in the price of food, fuel and fertilizers have hit Kenyans hard. Some voters wonder whether his deputy and the man he has endorsed will be able to offer any fresh solutions.

Kenya’s traditional ethnic voting dynamics may also dampen turnout. The largest ethnic group, the Kikuyu, have provided three out of Kenya’s four presidents. This time, there is no Kikuyu presidential candidate, although both front-runners have Kikuyu deputies.

Ruto comes from the populous Kalenjin community, based in the Rift Valley, while Odinga’s Luo ethnic group, among the biggest, have their heartland in western Kenya.

Ruto has sought to capitalise on growing anger among poor Kenyans and says he plans to create a fund to provide loans for small enterprises.

“It is about creating jobs for the young people,” he told his final rally in Nairobi this weekend.

Odinga, who has competed unsuccessfully in four previous elections, has promised to tackle corruption and make peace with opponents after the election. The 2007 and 2017 polls were marred by violence after disputes over alleged rigging.

“I will shake the hand of my rivals and pay the political price if I have to,” Odinga said in his last rally.

The final four opinion polls published last week put Odinga ahead with a margin of six to eight points, but Ruto has dismissed them as fake surveys designed to sway the electorate.

To avoid a run-off, a presidential candidate needs more than 50 percent of votes and at least 25 percent of the votes cast in half of Kenya’s 47 counties.

There are 22.1 million registered voters. Provisional results will start streaming in on Tuesday night, but an official announcement will take days.

Related Galleries:

An Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) worker arranges electoral materials at a tallying centre ahead of the general election in Nairobi, Kenya August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

Kenya’s Deputy President and presidential candidate William Ruto arrives to cast his vote during the general elections, at Kosachei Primary School in Sugoi, Kenya August 9, 2022. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A police officer walks into a polling centre by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ahead of the opening of the general election in Nairobi, Kenya August 9, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Policemen guard electoral materials at an Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tallying centre ahead of the general election in Nairobi, Kenya August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

A policeman stands guard at an Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tallying centre ahead of the general election in Nairobi, Kenya August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

A polling official carries electoral materials from an Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tallying centre ahead of the general election in Nairobi, Kenya August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Polling officials collect electoral materials at an Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tallying centre ahead of the general election in Nairobi, Kenya August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Policemen sit in an Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tallying centre ahead of the general election in Nairobi, Kenya August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Polling officials jostle to register at an Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tallying centre ahead of the general election in Nairobi, Kenya August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

European Union (EU) observers visit an Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) tallying centre ahead of the general election in Nairobi, Kenya August 8, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

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U.S. doubling down on investment in the Pacific – senior diplomat

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2022-08-09T03:34:25Z

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman speaks during a panel with the Friends of Europe in Brussels, Belgium, April 21, 2022. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo

The world’s future will be written in the Pacific, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said in New Zealand on Tuesday, as she wrapped up a whistle-stop tour of Pacific nations intended to demonstrate Washington’s commitment to the Pacific region.

Sherman said in a news conference in Wellington it was important for the United States to engage in the Pacific and that senior U.S. leaders believe “the future will be written here in the Pacific” without elaborating on what the future could hold.

The United States is concerned about China’s ambitions to extend its military presence in the Pacific after it struck a security pact with the Solomon Islands this year.

“We are doubling down on our investment here in the Pacific,” Sherman said. She added that the United States was doing everything possible to engage in the region and promote the rules based international order to ensure everybody can prosper in peace and security.

In the past five days Sherman has met leaders in Samoa, Tonga, Australia and Solomon Islands and attended commemorations which marked the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal. Although Sherman met Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, he did not attend a dawn service organised by the United States, which local media reported as a “snub.” read more

In New Zealand, Sherman met Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the two discussed coordinating U.S.-New Zealand efforts in the Pacific, including fostering economic prosperity through a free and open Indo-Pacific. The two countries also signed agreements related to space and emergency management co-operation.



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Financial Times: West Considers Sanctions Against Turkey Due to Its Cooperation with … – Latest Tweet by – LatestLY

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Financial Times: West Considers Sanctions Against Turkey Due to Its Cooperation with … – Latest Tweet by  LatestLY

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Pick It Up Pink crew sets cleanup schedule – Hudson Valley 360

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Joan (Dishman) Lyons Obituary – Oklahoman – Oklahoman.com

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Oklahoma again ranks poorly for child well-being, annual report says – Tulsa World

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Oklahoma again ranks poorly for child well-being, annual report says  Tulsa World

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Uvalde school superintendent: ‘Trust has been crippled’ – San Antonio Express-News

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Uvalde school superintendent: ‘Trust has been crippled’  San Antonio Express-News

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: Google Search suffers rare but brief outage Monday night

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Google Search inquiries generated an error message for many people around the world, from the U.S. to the U.K. to Singapore, according to data from DownDetector.

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WWE Raw Results: Winners, News And Notes On August 8, 2022

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WWE Raw results with Bobby Lashley vs. Ciampa for the United States Championship.

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Retail Executives Remain Silent As Government Gains More Control Over Fashion Industry

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Recently proposed laws by state and federal legislators targeting the fashion industry – have quietly angered (but not emboldened) industry leaders to fight back.

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