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Kenya's general elections kicks off
Last Updated: 2017-08-09 08:52 | Xinhua
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Kenya's general elections kicked off on Tuesday, with nearly 20 million eligible voters expected to cast their ballots at over 40,000 polling centers to elect public officials, including the president.

Thousands of voters went to polling stations overnight, hours ahead of the official voting time of 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) on Tuesday.

They lined up in long queues waiting to cast their ballots in presidential, parliamentary and gubernatorial elections to elect some 1,880 public officials. Today's vote is the second general election since Kenya adopted a new constitution in 2010.

"I came here at around 4 a.m. (0100 GMT) to vote early so that I can go back to my house to monitor events from television," Nancy Barasa told Xinhua.

"We want peaceful elections to allow more people to carry out their democratic right with the ballot," she added.

"We will ensure that the long wait in queues is limited," electorial commission chairman Wafula Chebukati said on Monday evening.

The organizers will split voters to ensure that each polling center will receive 700 voters at most, Chebukati said.

The situation is generally calm across the country. However, police reported that eight people were injured in polling stations in the capital Nairobi and the second largest city of Mombasa.

"I am optimistic that things would be better this time ... I want to ensure that I cast my vote very early so I can return home and take care of my children as I wait for the results," said Rosemary Kivuva, a voter in Machakos in eastern Kenya.

There was delay at some stations which received their electronic devices later than expected on Tuesday.

Electronic identity devices were used at the polling stations to identify voters to prevent possible fraud.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is competing for a second term, called on all voters to participate in the general elections.

"I am confident that brighter, happier, more prosperous and peaceful days lie ahead for all Kenyans. I see a future where everyone can share in the wealth and prosperity of a modern, 21st century nation," he said in a televised speech before the polling centers opened.

"We appeal to our supporters to turn out in large numbers," said Presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki is one of the election's observers.

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