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Kenyan Presidential Candidates make final bid for votes as campaigning closes

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On Saturday, the front-runners in Kenya’s presidential election were scheduled to make one last pitch for support, bringing to an end months of frantic campaigning in advance of the election on August 9.

William Ruto, the deputy president, and Raila Odinga, a longtime opponent who is now supported by the ruling party, are vying to become president of the East African powerhouse as it struggles with a cost-of-living crisis.

In this election, 22.1 million voters will select the next president, as well as senators, governors, lawmakers, women representatives, and roughly 1,500 county officials. Previous elections have been marred by violence and continue to cast a shadow over the nation.

Mudslinging, tit-for-tat allegations of rigging, and a freebie bonanza for supporters, who have been showered with umbrellas, groceries, and cash for attending rallies, have dominated the fight for votes.

The leading candidates will hold their final campaigns in Nairobi, the nation’s capital, under heavy security. Ruto will speak at the 30,000-seat Nyayo National Stadium, and Odinga will address a rally at the 60,000-seat Kasarani Stadium.

When the two candidates first announced their plans to speak at the Nyayo venue on Saturday afternoon, there were concerns that there would be a showdown before election day.

David Mwaure, a lawyer, and George Wajackoyah, an eccentric former spy who favors marijuana legalization, are also contending.

As a result of the fiercely contested race, there has been speculation that Kenya may hold its first presidential run-off. Many people are concerned that if the results are challenged, there may be street violence.

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SEE MORE: Kenya: William Ruto believes he will win the Kenyan presidential elections.

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