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Voters cast their ballots in Kenyan presidential election with low turnout

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The first voters in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, look into one of the many polling rooms at Olympic Primary just minutes before voting commences on Tuesday.

Kenyans headed to the polls on Tuesday in a presidential election pitting a veteran opposition leader against the sitting deputy president.

In a twist, outgoing Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who isn't running for reelection, threw his support behind his longtime rival, Raila Odinga, instead of his own deputy, William Ruto.

With Odinga and Ruto in a tight race, other contenders include George Wajackoyah, a candidate with some unorthodox proposals, who had been polling in a distant third place.

Kenya has been a bellwether for democracy in East Africa. A dictatorship gave way to elections in the early 2000s. But since then, some of the presidential contests have been marred by violence and irregularities.

On Tuesday, while some voters camped out at a polling station as early as 3 a.m., the election was marked by low turnout and a great deal of cynicism.

Preliminary results could begin to come out Tuesday night but an official announcement of the winner is expected to take longer. Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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