Kenyans have started voting in presidential and parliamentary elections, but many citizens desperate for relief from spiking food prices and deep-rooted corruption have little confidence the next government will deliver change.
Large numbers of young people have not registered to vote in the elections on Tuesday, electoral commission figures show. Many say they are frustrated by widening inequality and an entrenched political system overseen by the same old elite.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is stepping down from the helm of East Africa’s economic powerhouse after reaching the end of his two-term limit.
The main candidates vying to replace him are far from new faces. William Ruto, 55, has been Kenyatta’s deputy for the past nine years, though the two men have fallen out.
Raila Odinga, 77, is a veteran opposition leader who, this time around, has won Kenyatta’s endorsement.
Many outsiders are closely watching the elections for the president, parliament and local authorities. Kenya is a stable nation in a volatile region, a close Western ally that hosts regional headquarters for Alphabet Inc, Visa inc and other international groups.
In some polling stations in the capital, Nairobi, Garissa, and Naivasha, lines were shorter than in previous elections, although it was unclear if voting would pick up later. Total turnout in the last election was near 80 percent.