Violence as Kenyan Vote Nears

Too close to call 48 hours before poll in key East African nation
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2007 10:00 AM CST
Incumbent President Mwai Kibaki, from the Party of National Unity, waves to his supporters as he arrives at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, Kenya, Monday, Dec. 24, 2007 as he seeks his reelection in the Dec. 27...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Kenya's presidential election remains too close to call with 48 hours to go, writes the Mail and Guardian. President Mwai Kibaki is seeking a second term but facing a stiff challenge from former ally Raila Odinga for the leadership of East Africa's bellwether nation. Yesterday police fired teargas at supporters of the two camps who began hurling stones at each other in downtown Nairobi.

Kibaki is a member of the Kikuyu ethnic group, which is dominant in Kenya, but Odinga is rallying minority groups together to present a united front. As the New York Times writes, however, electoral law might result in a surprising stalemate: Odinga stands to lose his own seat in Parliament, while Kibaki might not clear a regional hurdle. That would make both candidates ineligible to be president and plunge the country into disarray.