The latest results from Monday’s Kenyan elections show Uhuru Kenyatta maintaining his lead in the race for president.
With about 40 percent of polling stations reporting Tuesday, Kenyatta led his main opponent, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, 53 percent to 41 percent.
If neither man wins a majority, Kenya will hold a run-off election in April.
Kenyatta, who is Kenya’s deputy prime minister, had strong support in the areas north of the capital, Nairobi, while Odinga was winning in districts of western and southern Kenya.
Some 14 million Kenyans were eligible to vote in the elections for president, parliament, and other key offices. Both Odinga and Kenyatta have promised to respect the result of the vote.
Kenyatta is facing trial at the International Criminal Court on charges he helped organize ethnic violence that followed the 2007 presidential poll.
More than 1,100 people were killed in that violence.
Monday’s election in Kenya was mostly peaceful, although just hours before voting began, at least 13 people, including seven police officers, were killed along Kenya’s coast. Kenyan police arraigned three suspects in court Tuesday.
The chairman of Kenya’s election commission Ahmed Isaack Hassan said there were no reported incidents of violence during voting hours. He also said voter turnout appears to have been above 70 percent.
“The voter turnout has been overwhelming and by 5:00 p.m. this evening our own indications are that over 70 percent have turned out,” said Hassan.
Odinga, who lost the disputed 2007 election, expressed confidence he would win this time around.
“I am very confident that we are going to win this election in the first round,” said Odinga.
Kenyatta also was optimistic about a win for himself and his coalition.
“I am hopeful, we are definitely very hopeful, and we’re looking forward to a big Jubilee win,” said Kenyatta.
Monday’s voting took place under tight security, with nearly 100,000 police officers deployed across the country.
The U.S. State Department condemned what it called “isolated incidences of violence” in Kenya but said election observers are reporting that the vote is generally calm and peaceful.
“Our general impression — again this is still ongoing — is that they have been generally calm and peaceful and orderly and that things are working fairly well,” said Acting Deputy Spokesperson Patrick Ventrell. VOA