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Kenya election: Turnout under 34% amid opposition boycott

Kenya’s electoral commission says fewer than 34% of registered voters took part in Thursday’s re-run of the presidential election.

Kenya election: Turnout under 34% amid opposition boycott
Kenya election: Turnout under 34% amid opposition boycott

The figure is sharply down on the initial poll in August, when nearly 80% of the electorate voted.

The main opposition coalition had called for a boycott of the poll.

Voting has had to be suspended indefinitely in four areas where opposition supporters have been clashing with police.

Electoral commission head Wafula Chebukati had wanted voting in these opposition strongholds to go ahead on Saturday, but said he had to postpone it again because persistent insecurity made it too dangerous for his staff.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking a second term. Opposition leader Raila Odinga has pulled out of the contest.

At least two people have been reported killed in the violence, including a teenage boy shot by police during clashes in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu. Some opposition supporters also prevented people from voting, despite Mr Odinga’s calls for them to stay away.

The BBC’s Tomi Oladipo in the capital, Nairobi, says that even in some areas where there was calm, voter fatigue and a loss of faith in the electoral process meant turnout was still low.

The electoral commission has seven days to declare the results once all voting is complete.

President Kenyatta was declared the winner in an August vote, which was annulled because of “irregularities”. After casting his vote Mr Kenyatta said the country was “tired of electioneering” and it was “time we moved forward”. BBC News