Here’s what you need to know about the election in Kenya, East Africa’s economic hub and home to about 56 million people.
Explainer: Why Kenya’s presidential election is important
Kenyans vote on Tuesday to choose a successor to President Uhuru Kenyatta. The race is close and could go to a runoff for the first time.
One top candidate is Raila Odinga, an opposition leader in his fifth run for the presidency who is being supported by former rival Kenyatta. The other is William Ruto, Kenyatta’s deputy who fell out with the president earlier in their decade in power.
Both tend to focus far more on domestic issues, raising the question of how either will follow up on Kenyatta’s diplomatic efforts for calm in neighboring Ethiopia or in the tensions between Rwanda and Congo.
What’s at stake?
Kenya is East Africa’s economic hub and home to about 56 million people. The country has a recent history of turbulent elections. Even then, it stands out for its relative stability in a region where some elections are deeply challenged and longtime leaders such as Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni have been declared the winner with almost 99 per cent of votes, or been widely accused of physically cracking down on contenders.