Kenya's Prez Appears Defeated

Challenger vows to spread wealth more equitably
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2007 9:57 AM CST
Kenyan line up to casts their vote at a polling station in Nairobi, Kenya, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2007. Kenyans headed to the polls Thursday in a presidential election that is shaping up to be the closest...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A populist challenger appears to be winning Kenya's presidential election, the New York Times reports. Raila Odinga, a businessman who promises to spread Kenya's growing wealth more equitably, has a 57%-40% lead over incumbent Mwai Kibaki in early results, while many in Kibaki's inner circle, including the vice president and 14 ministers, are losing their seats in parliament, Nairobi's Standard newspaper reports.

Odinga has blasted officials for delaying the final tally and warned that voter anxiety could spark violence. Kibaki is credited with improving Kenya's economy but unpopular for  favoring his own tribe. Odinga has pledged to end the tribal bias that has dogged Kenyan politics since independence in 1963, the Times reports. Also facing defeat today is Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace laureate and parliament member.