Kenyans are voting today to elect the country’s new political leadership. President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking a second and final term but faces a strong challenge from opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The east African country has 47 counties, with 19 million registers voters from a population of 47 million people. Registered diaspora voters are 4, 393 while 5, 528 inmates are expected to cast their votes.

An interesting election to watch

Going by the major pollsters – INFOTRAK & IPSOS in Kenya, the election will be highly contested for the presidential frontrunners, the incumbent Kenyatta and the opposition leader Odinga.

Other six presidential contenders include Cyrus Jirongo of the United Democratic Party (UDP), Ekuru Aukot of Thirdway Alliance, Abduba Dida of the Alliance for Real Change (ARC), and Independent candidates Joseph Nyagah, Michael Wainaina and Japheth Kavinga.

Jubilee Party supporter dressed in party colours during their last leg of campaigns at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital on August 4, 2017 ahead of country’s general elation on August 8. Jubilee is one of the two major parties in with large following. Photo/Billy Mutai

A stiff contest is expected in gubernatorial races across country’s 47 counties.

President Kenyatta and opposition leaders have called for peace and calm during the election. Previous general elections have been marred by political violence. In the 2007 election, Kenya witnessed post electoral violence that left over 1,400 people dead and over 600,000 people were displaced. Some of the worst hit towns included Eldoret, Kisumu, Nairobi, Nakuru and Naivasha.

Cases of political violence have been reported in the run-up to the polls and the opposition has alleged that there’s been a ploy to rig the election. However, Kenyatta, denied that there are attempts to rig the elections.

We look at pictures taken in the run up to the polls.

Presidential frontrunner Mr. Raila Odinga addressing supporters during a protest campaign to expunge contested Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officers charged with responsibility to oversee elections in Kenya. A new team was appointed led by chairman Wafula Chebukati and CEO Ezra Chiloba. Kenya goes to polls on August 8, 2017.Photo/Billy Mutai
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati (Left) with commission CEO Ezra Chiloba during a press brifing in this picture taken on July 26, 2017Photo/Billy Mutai
An old model of old model Volkswagen vehicle branded with Jubilee colour in this picture taken on August 4, 2014. Kenya head for polls on August 8, 2017. Photo/Billy Mutai
An aerial view of Nairobi City showing an ongoing campaign in this picture taken on August 4, 2017.Photo/Billy Mutai

 

A child dressed in Jubilee Party colours peeps through perimeter rails erected during party campaigns at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital on August 4, 2017 ahead of country’s general elation on August 8. Jubilee is one of the two major parties in with large following. Photo/Billy Mutai
Jubilee Party supporters holding portrait of presidential contender Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta – incumbent. Pollsters have ranked him slightly ahead of Mr. Raila Odinga the opposition leader. Picture taken during party’s majour rally at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on August 4, 2017.Photo/Billy Mutai
Members of the media both local and international covering one of the campaigns in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on August 4, 2017Photo/Billy Mutai
Presidential contender Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta – incumbent in this picture taken on August 4, 2017. He is one of the frontrunners in the upcoming general elections, pollsters have ranked him slightly ahead of Mr. Raila Odinga the opposition leader. Photo/Billy Mutai
Mr. Benard Bor milking at a farm in Kericho, Kenya 300Kilometers west of capital Nairobi on August 7, a day to Kenya’s polls. Farmers in the region are optimistic this season will usher in fresh leadership to address their needs.Photo/Billy Mutai
Presidential contender Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta (4th Right) – incumbent with his deputy Mr. William Ruto who is also his running mate holding hands during one of their campaigns in Nairobi on August 4, 2017.Photo/Billy Mutai
Presidential contender Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta – incumbent in this picture taken on August 4, 2017. He is one of the frontrunners in the upcoming general elections, pollsters have ranked him slightly ahead of Mr. Raila Odinga the opposition leader. Photo/Billy Mutai
Presidential contender Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta – incumbent in this picture taken on August 4, 2017. He is one of the frontrunners in the upcoming general elections, pollsters have ranked him slightly ahead of Mr. Raila Odinga the opposition leader.Photo/Billy Mutai
Presidential frontrunner Mr. Raila Odinga who is also the opposition leader in this picture taken on May 15, 2017. pollsters have ranked him slightly trailing of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta who is Kenya’s President.Photo/Billy Mutai
Bus stop workers in Kericho town, 300 Kilometers west of Kenya’s Capital Nairobi loading language belonging to travelers moving to their indigenous home areas. Some of the people working in cosmopolitan town fear eruption of violence as witnessed in 2007 general elections. Kericho was among the towns across the country hit by violence where foreign tribes were displaced. Picture taken on August 7, 2017. Photo/Billy Mutai
Bus stop workers in Kericho town, 300 Kilometers west of Kenya’s Capital Nairobi loading language belonging to travelers moving to their indigenous home areas. Some of the people working in cosmopolitan town fear eruption of violence as witnessed in 2007 general elections. Kericho was among the towns across the country hit by violence where foreign tribes were displaced. Picture taken on August 7, 2017Photo/Billy Mutai