What is at stake in Kenya's election?

Uhuru speaking at the Deliverance Church Umoja

All eyes are on the biometric voter identification and tallying system which failed massively in 2013 and is seen as crucial to a smooth election amid opposition accusations of a plot to rig the vote.

The torture and murder last week of a top election official and the deportation of two foreign Odinga advisers have fuelled wild online conspiracy theories and "fake news" items consumed voraciously by Kenya's tech-savvy population. Voting mostly started smoothly, the election commission said, despite some isolated incidents and delays.

People are voting in Kenya's general election amid fears that the result could trigger communal violence.

NAIROBI, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Kenyan election officials began counting votes on Tuesday, as results trickled in from a hard-fought contest between the country's foremost political dynasties and election authorities called for calm.

This election is one more milestone for Kenya, and I urge President Kenyatta, Mr. Odinga, and all Kenyans to act with respect for the proverb: "We have not inherited this land from our forebears, we have borrowed it from our children".

"May the stronger candidate win tomorrow", said Odinga, who has run unsuccessfully for the presidency on three occasions.

In March 2013, Kenyatta, defeated Odinga, despite charges of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the 2007-2008 violence.

The last election in 2007 was marred with violence with more than 1,100 deaths and 600,000 others were displaced.

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NAN reports that some 19.6 million Kenyans will vote to elect the country's fifth president, 290 members of parliament, 47 county governors, similar number of senators and women representatives and several hundred county representatives.

Kenyatta, 52, is the son of Kenya's first president, Jomo Kenyatta, and a longtime participant in the country's political life.

Heavily booked buses are ferrying Kenyans back to their hometowns, for some in order to vote where they are registered, but for others it is due to fears of post-election violence in the areas where they live.

"I have been voting in this place but I have never seen such a crowd turnout ever since; the turnout is very huge; people wanted to exercise their right to vote", he said.

Polling stations across the country are already open with thousands already queued up to cast their ballots.

They are voting in a fiercely contested election that pits President Uhuru Kenyatta against challenger Raila Odinga. The East African country is home to more than 40 tribes but all of Kenya's presidents have hailed from either the majority Kikuyu or the smaller Kalenjin. Kenyan officials have deployed about 180,000 security officers nationwide to ensure safety.

NASA will accept defeat should it conclude Tuesday's vote was free and fair, principal and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula has said.

The IEBC said in a statement that extra ICT support staff have been brought into service to resolve minor technical issues.

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