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Kenya opposition leader urges large turnout ahead of elections

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Kenya on a knife edge ahead of high-stakes elections

Christine Siambe, 18, was all smiles.

A decade ago, Kenya was rocked by violence in the aftermath of its disputed presidential election.

Voting got underway shortly after 6am local time and all eyes are on an electronic voter identification and tallying system whose success is seen as crucial to a smooth election.

ELOG said some of its observers had been denied access to polling stations while others had their phones confiscated upon arrival.

"It's not that we are foreseeing doom, it's just that we are stocking up because supplies in markets have dwindled and we do not want to have a dry spell", she said.

In his final televised speech as the East African country's president ahead of the much-anticipated elections, Kenyatta said he was not speaking as a presidential candidate but as the president of Kenya. All of Kenya's presidents have hailed from either the majority Kikuyu or the smaller Kalenjin.

Many people will vote along "tribalism or party" lines, according to a respected Kenyan journalist.

If Uhuru does win, this will be his final term as president.

In Kibera, Oyugi Otieno, 25, was confident that this time history here in Kenya would be different.

The two main candidates in this election are well-known to Kenyans.

Kenya Power and Lighting Company Manager for Lamu County Bernard Munywere Kataka said Monday an electricity pylon carrying over 220 kilovolts of electricity fell after the blast. But without a popular third candidate, that seems unlikely.

Nearly 20 million Kenyans have registered to vote to choose candidates for a vast array of positions, from the presidency to county councillors, but all eyes are on the latest battle between the former British colony's two political dynasties.

In the months that followed the 2007 vote, violent protesters from opposing political camps killed each other, set fire to their opponents' houses and patrolled the streets in militarised vehicles.

Elizabeth Obeiro, an accountant said she stocked up on supplies when she realized there might be a shortage because suppliers are not bringing products to the shops. In the days leading up to the vote, Kenyans stocked up on essentials at the supermarket. When he was finally freed in 1991, many Kenyans - particularly in his Luo tribe - saw him as a principled fighter against a repressive state.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has voted in his birthplace of Gatundu, north of Nairobi. It was a sober plead that Kenyans exercise their right to vote, but that they also not let politics turn neighbors against their neighbors.

The violence that erupted following the 2008 election in which 1,200 people were killed came as a surprise to many worldwide observers. Above all, we must reject intimidation.

The murder of a key figure a week before the poll - the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) head of technology - has really put the country on edge. Some polling places opened later than usual and in at least one location ballots were stamped "rejected" by a clerk.

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