Ruto leads in Kenya vote, media tally shows, as announcement seen imminent

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NAIROBI, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto led a tight presidential race against opposition leader Raila Odinga, official results reported by Kenyan media showed on Monday, as an announcement from electoral authorities on the winner appeared imminent.

Confusion over differing vote percentages in the media and slow progress by the electoral commission in tallying Tuesday’s vote have fed anxiety in East Africa’s wealthiest country, which has a recent history of violence following disputed elections.

With more than three quarters of votes counted, media said, riot police were deployed at the national tallying centre at the weekend after scuffles by party members over verification procedures.

On Monday, only two desks on a tallying floor that has been a hive of activity since the verification process started were occupied by electoral commission staff and party agents, out of more than 12 before, a sign the exercise could be coming to a close.

The commission has not said when the winner will be declared, but the law requires the commission to announce results within seven days of a presidential election.

In official verified results reported by the Nation Media Group on Monday, Ruto had 51% of the vote, ahead of Odinga who had 48%, with 253 constituencies counted out of a total of 291.

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri and George Obulutsa in Nairobi, Ayenat Mersie in Kisumu and Nelson Ali in EldoretWriting by James Macharia Chege; editing by John Stonestreet)

Kenya’s Deputy President and the Kenya Kwanza Coalition presidential candidate William Ruto (C), waves at the crowd of supporters as he arrives during the coalition’s last political rally at Nyayo stadium, in Nairobi, Kenya. EPA-EFE/Daniel Irungu

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