Kenyatta,charged with crimes against humanity,takes early lead in Kenya

Uhuru Kenyatta,a Kenyan politician who has been charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity,was leading by a wide margin in the Kenya election

Written by New York Times | Nairobi | Published:March 6, 2013 1:05 am

JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

Uhuru Kenyatta,a Kenyan politician who has been charged by the International Criminal Court with crimes against humanity,was leading by a wide margin in the Kenya election Tuesday,with more than a third of the votes counted.

Kenyatta,who is one of the richest men in Africa and a deputy prime minister and has been accused of bankrolling death squads that killed women and children,was ahead 55 percent to 41 percent over the second-place candidate,Raila Odinga,Kenya’s prime minister.

Preliminary results showed that voters,who poured into the polls on Monday,some waiting for 10 hours,voted overwhelmingly along ethnic lines,with some areas voting 98 percent for the leader from their ethnic group. Many shops in Nairobi remained shuttered,with people worried about riots once the final results are declared and a clear winner and loser become apparent.

Police officers were everywhere,some wearing helmets and padded riot suits. Kenya’s election commission has been steadily tabulating the votes and expects a preliminary result by Wednesday.

Kisumu,a city in western Kenya and Odinga’s ethnic stronghold,which exploded in riots during the last presidential election,was quiet on Tuesday.

“We’re just waiting,” said Christine Ololo Atieno,a passionate Odinga supporter. “People are still hoping more votes will come in and things will change.”

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