March 8 - Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta retains lead over Prime Minister Raila Odinga in tight presidential race with final results expected on Friday. Sunita Rappai reports.
The vote count for Kenya's presidential election continues on Friday as Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his deputy Uhuru Kenyatta battle for the lead. (SOUNDBITE)(English) INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL AND BOUNDARIES COMMISSION (IEBC) COMMISSIONER, ALBERT BWIRE, SAYING: "Raila Odinga 42,185, Uhuru Kenyatta 15,109. Total votes cast 59,752." There are hopes the count will be concluded on Friday but the process could drag on until Monday when the results must be declared by law. The 51-year-old Kenyatta has kept an early lead since results started trickling in last Monday but some strongholds for Odinga have yet to declare and the race is tight. Counting has been slow with a new electronic system plagued by hitches - votes are now being counted manually. Kenyans are hoping the vote will restore their country's image as one of Africa's more stable democracies after 1200 were killed in election violence five years ago. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NAIROBI RESIDENT, JOHNSTONNE ARONYA, SAYING: "No, we are not worried because Kenyans, now, we are educated enough. We are just giving them time so that they give us exactly what they have got." Kenya's independent Electoral and Boundaries commission meanwhile refuted claims from Odinga's campaign team that its members were involved in any form of vote rigging. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of votes in the first round, the top two will go a run-off, provisionally set for April. Turnout has been estimated at more than 70 percent in a poll most international observers have called open and transparent. END