At least four people were killed on Thursday in clashes over Kenya’s election re-run, prompting officials to delay the vote in four counties and further tarnishing the credibility of a deeply divisive poll.
As counting began after a day marked by bloodshed and poor voter turnout, President Uhuru Kenyatta was heading for a landslide victory after his rival Raila Odinga pulled out.
But estimated figures compiled by the election board pointed to a turnout of just 48 percent.
If confirmed, it would be a huge fall from the nearly 80 percent rate in the August poll, which was won by Kenyatta but overturned by the Supreme Court in an unprecedented ruling that sparked weeks of protest and acrimonious debate.
The confirmed casualties raised the number of people killed in election-related violence since the August poll to 44.
While Odinga’s supporters hit the streets, others went to the polls to cast their ballots.
But, in stark contrast to the August election, several polling stations in key areas stood empty or welcomed only a handful of voters in an election likely to face more legal battles after its conclusion.
At one polling station in Nairobi’s Kibera slum, rocks bounced off the roof as officials tallied just 16 votes all for Kenyatta.
In the middle-class neighbourhood of Kilimani, turnout at St Georges school was only 42 percent, with Kenyatta scoring the large majority — although one person wrote in the name of Jesus, and voted for him.