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Kenya election 2022 — as it happened

August 9, 2022

Kenyans have voted to elect their fifth president, a new parliament and county officials. Closing polls had opposition leader Raila Odinga and Vice President William Ruto in a dead heat.

Kenia Wahlen 2022
Image: Patrick Meinhardt/AFP

Kenyans cast their ballots Tuesday in a presidential election that pitted opposition leader Raila Odinga against Deputy President William Ruto.

These live updates are now closed. Keep up to date on the outcome of Kenya's election here

All times given are in GMT.


Vote counting begins

Kenya Election Recap


Voter turnout of 56%

The IEBC says just over 12 million Kenyans have voted so far, representing a voter turnout of 56%. This figure does not include manual registers and those still in queues.

Kenya election breakdown infographic


Polls closing

Polls are closing in many places at 5 pm local time after 11 hours of voting. However, IEBC indicated that voting hours had been extended in some areas that experienced delays. The focus now shifts to vote counting and tallying. First results are expected soon.

Kenia Kibera Slum Nairobi Wahlen
In some areas there are still long queues even after polls have officially closed at 5 pm.Image: Monicah Mwangi/REUTERS


Arrests over malpractice

Two police officers and one civilian have been arrested for ferrying marked ballot papers in Kilgoris, Narok County. Two others were arrested in Imara Daima, Nairobi County, for transporting unsealed election materials. Nakuru East MP David Gikaria was also detained for allegedly assaulting a polling station. In addition, Omar Shallo, a parliamentary candidate of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), and Samor Bhalo, a Tudor Ward candidate, were held by police when they staged a demonstration at the Tudor village polling place against allegations of vote fraud.


Warning from IEBC

IEBC is warning voters against sharing photos of marked ballot papers online


KIEMS malfunctions

Azimio la Umoja, the political alliance headed by Raila Odinga, has demanded that the electoral body use the manual voters' register in cases where KIEMS biometric kits have failed. Azimio also called for a public statement listing all polling stations where voting is yet to begin and to officially announce the extension of voting hours to fit the 11-hour window stipulated in the law.

The electoral commission has authorized manual voter registers in Kibwezi West, Malaba, Matungu, Mumias West, Mumias East Constituencies, and Makueni County following the mass malfunction of KIEMS kits. "On failure of KIEMS kit, we have received 200 failure reports. The failure is not widespread," IEBC commissioner Justus Nyang'aya said. "Technology does break down and we have ways to address that which we have done. We expect that one or two may present a malfunction but that does not mean it is widespread."

Kenia Wahlen 2022
Some Kenya Intergrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kits have malfunctionsImage: Brian Ongoro/AFP


More than 30% of registered voters have cast their ballot

6,567,869 voters have so far cast their ballot across the country by noon, IEBC announces. That is the equivalent of 30.66% of all registered voters.

A man marks his ballot paper in a polling booth during Kenya's general election
30% of the registered voters have cast their ballotImage: Simon Maina/AFP


East Africa's powerhouse

Kenya is considered an economic powerhouse in the region alongside Ethiopia. According to the World Bank estimates, in 2021, Kenya's average annual income per person stood at $2,000 (€1,954).
However, most Kenyans have been heavily affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and the negative impact on the economy, which saw hundreds of thousands lose their jobs. In addition, rising food and fuel prices, blamed on the war in Ukraine, have put pressure on the country, which is home to a wide range of ethnic groups. The new president will face challenges in tackling the rising cost of living, youth unemployment, a $70-billion debt mountain, and entrenched corruption.

Infografik Kenia economy EN


Voting in Mombasa postponed

Mombasa voters are in long queues though the Electoral Commission announced the cancellation of their gubernatorial position vote yesterday over what it termed ‘printing errors’. A number of polling stations were by 8 am yet to start the exercise that was scheduled to begin at 6 am. Tempers were running hot as some voters started shouting and demanding the opening of polling stations.


Missing ballot papers

Voters in Rongai, Nakuru County, protest after the electoral agency suspended the parliamentary election in the constituency following missing ballot papers and boxes. Anti-riot police have been deployed.


Presidential candidate Odinga casts vote

Presidential candidate Raila Odinga has cast his vote at the Old Kibra Primary School polling station in Nairobi. 


Wajackoyah fails to cast ballot due to KIEMS error

Presidential candidate George Wajackoyah was not able to vote, as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission's KIEMS kit at his polling station failed to recognize him. The devices have a biometric voter registration system to electronically capture voters' facial images, fingerprints and civil data. Some 55,100 KIEMS kits have been distributed nationally. 

Outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta has cast his ballot during Kenya's general election at the Mutomo primary school polling station in Kiambu.


Ruto and Mwaura vote early 

William Ruto casts his vote at Kosachei Primary School in Turbo, Uasin Gishu.

Agano Party presidential candidate David Mwaura Waihiga cast his vote at Upperhill High school, Nairobi.

The candidates

From an initial shortlist of 17, four candidates were cleared to run for president, the smallest number since multiparty democracy began in the early 1990s. The incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, has served two terms and cannot run again.

Kenya opposition leader Raila Odinga
Raila Odinga hopes to clinch the top seat at his fifth runImage: Tony Karumba/AFP

Raila Odinga, 77, is the veteran opposition leader now backed by longtime rival Kenyatta and is running under the Azimio la Umoja (Quest for Unity)-One Kenya Coalition. The former prime minister lost four previous shots at the presidency in 1997, 2007, 2013 and 2017.

William Ruto, 55, served as a lawmaker and agriculture minister before becoming deputy president in 2013. The ambitious rags-to-riches politician is running for the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), pledging to fight for "hustlers" trying to make ends meet. Odinga and Ruto are in a tight race for the presidency.

Kenya's Deputy President and presidential candidate William Ruto casts his vote
Vice President William Ruto is vying for the presidency for the first timeImage: Baz Ratner/REUTERS

George Wajackoyah, 63, a Nairobi street kid turned eccentric lawyer and former spy, is running for the Rastafarian-inspired Roots Party, campaigning on a pledge to legalize marijuana and export hyena testicles and snake venom to China.

David Mwaura, 65, is a senior lawyer and ordained minister running on the Agano (Swahili for "covenant" or "promise") Party ticket.


Results are due to be announced no later than August 16. Any second-round runoff, which would be a first in Kenya's history, must be held within 30 days. If no candidate files a challenge to the results with the Supreme Court, the winner takes office two weeks after the final results are announced. But if the court orders an annulment, a new vote must be held within 60 days.

A woman casts her ballot at the Gatina primary school polling station
Kenyans are casting their ballots in a hotly contested presidential electionImage: Patrick Meinhardt/AFP

In a historic decision in 2017, the court declared Kenyatta's win null and void after a petition by his rival Odinga because of widespread "irregularities and illegalities" in the counting process and mismanagement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). However, the incumbent went on to win the rematch after an opposition boycott.

Voter registration

About 22.1 million voters are registered out of around 50 million Kenyans. Nearly 40% of the voters, or 8.8 million, are aged between 18 and 34, a drop since the last poll. A total of 46,229 polling stations will be open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. (0300 GMT to 1400 GMT).

Electoral commission figures show that many young people have not registered to vote. Many say they are frustrated by widening inequality and an entrenched political system overseen by the same old elite.

A group of voters queue while waiting to vote.
Kenyans lined up before dawn to voteImage: Luis Tato/AFP

The election of the president for a five-year term is by direct popular vote. The winner needs 50% plus one vote and at least a quarter of the votes in 24 of the 47 counties. Kenyans will also choose 47 county governors, 47 senators, 47 female representatives, 290 members of parliament and 1,450 county assembly members. There are a total of 16,100 candidates.

International observers

In one of the region's costliest polls, parliament approved a 40.9-billion-shilling ($347-million) budget for the IEBC. The African Union, the European Union, and the Commonwealth are among those that have sent observers to monitor the polls.

At the polling station, the voter's identity is checked biometrically using an electronic system that scans their fingerprint. Then, each voter receives six ballot papers, each a different color, for each of the six different elections. Before they leave, indelible ink is applied to the voter's finger to ensure they cannot vote again. Manual registers are to be used as a backup if the electronic system fails, but it remains a source of dispute between the rival candidates. More than 1,100 polling stations have no access to 3G or 4G networks, with the electoral body saying it will use satellite modems to ensure coverage.

An election official verifies a voter's information on the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS)
In several cases, the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS) has failed to recognize some voter's biometric dataImage: Patrick Meinhardt/AFP


About 150,000 officers have been deployed to ensure the safety of the polls, police chief Hilary Mutyambai said. Polling day has been declared a public holiday, schools have been ordered closed until Wednesday, and supermarkets have urged people to stock up. 


Edited by: Chrispin Mwakideu

DW - Silja Fröhlich
Silja Fröhlich is a German-born journalist.
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