Polls close in Kenya’s presidential and parliamentary elections, turnout around 60%

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Polls have closed in what’s been described as tightly contested elections in Kenya. Presidential front-runners former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto – who cast their votes earlier said they were confident the vote would take place without any hitches.

Kenya’s election commission said turnout in Tuesday’s elections will probably be around 60%. Turnout in the last election in 2017 was nearly 80%.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is stepping down at the end of his two terms in the office called for a peaceful vote.

Previous elections in 2007 and 2017 were marred by violence after disputes over alleged vote rigging.

There have been some hiccups today with complaints of the electronic identifying kit failing in several polling stations.

SABC News East Africa Correspondent, Sarah Kimani reports from  Nairobi:

President Uhuru Kenyatta must step down due to term limits. The two frontrunners to succeed him are veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga and the current Deputy President, William Ruto. Kenyatta fell out with Ruto and has endorsed Odinga.

All three men were involved in the 2007 election, but back then Ruto backed Odinga against Kenyatta’s then-boss. Kenyatta and Ruto faced charges at the International Criminal Court over their alleged role in the violence; the cases were later dropped.

Many citizens are too discouraged to vote, saying they are being crushed by soaring food prices and corruption.-Additional reporting by Reuters