Kenya prepares for elections on 8 August

Incumbent Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking a second term of office on 8 August when Kenya votes to elect a president, parliament and county governors.

The two-horse presidential race sees Kenyatta, of the multi-party Jubilee Alliance, face Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (NASA), a coalition of opposition parties. Both candidates have appealed to the country's 19.6 million registered voters to show up in large numbers on voting day.

Due to the current polarised political environment there are concerns about the risk of violence following the upcoming polls, which come a decade after 1,100 people were killed and hundreds of thousands displaced in the aftermath of the 2007 elections. 

The 2013 elections were relatively peaceful however and saw Kenyatta beat Odinga by the narrowest of margins – 50.07 per cent – avoiding a run-off thanks to Kenya's requirement of a simple majority threshold. Odinga challenged the result, alleging vote-rigging, but Kenyatta's victory was upheld by the nation's supreme court. 

Heir to one of the country’s biggest fortunes, Kenyatta is popularly known by his first name and is the son of Kenya's first president and 'founding father' Jomo Kenyatta. Odinga, who is contesting his fourth presidential election, also hails from a powerful Kenyan political dynasty.

Incumbent Nairobi governor Kidero Evans will seek to keep his seat in a contest against Jubilee candiate Mike Sonko, Michael Mutinda of the Agano Party, and independents Godfrey Wanyoike, Miguna Miguna and Peter Kenneth.
Pressing electoral issues in Nairobi include the ongoing cholera outbreak and traffic congestion as well as rising food prices and a slowing economy caused by the current drought.

The upcoming general election will be one of the nation's most competitive ever and is also likely to be its most expensive, with experts estimating a total spend of more than $1 billion.