Uhuru, Raila move to seal voting blocs as campaigns end Saturday

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 4 – President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga are Friday set to hold a series of rallies as the 70 day campaign period which began on May 28 lapses on Saturday.

According to a schedule released by President Kenyatta’s campaign team, the Jubilee Party will head to Kirigiti stadium in the 1.2 million vote-rich Kiambu County, before proceeding for an offensive at Suswa in Narok County and finally a mega rally at the historic Uhuru Park in the capital.

The Orange Democratic Movement Party candidate will take National Super Alliance campaigns to the coastal City of Mombasa where Odinga will seek to prevail upon residents to turn up in large numbers and vote for him.

Odinga’s foray in Mombasa is particularly crucial considering the recent opinion polls which have suggested a tight contest for the 580,223 votes, statistics from the poll body indicating only 66 per cent of registered voters turned up to vote in the March 4, 2013 General Election.

The Narok tour by Kenyatta, on the other hand, is of utmost importance, at least going by the voter turnout in the last General Election (90 per cent), the president seeking to win the support of the 341,730 registered voters.

At Kirigiti in Kiambu, President Kenyatta will seek to consolidate his support in the populous county which commanded a voter turnout of 91 per cent in 2013, surpassing the national average of 86 per cent.

Kenyatta will also make a final plea to Nairobi voters at Uhuru Park a day before Odinga holds a rally in the same venue in a bid to secure a sizeable chunk of the available 2,250,853 votes. Nairobi recorded a turnout of 81 per cent in the last election.

The two candidates made stops in Kisumu, Meru and Tharaka Nithi and Kitui, with Odinga opting to focus on the lakeside city as Kenyatta traversed the other three counties.

The four counties with 539,210, 702,480, 213,154 and 474,512 registered voters respectively recorded a turnout of 90, 88, 89 and 85 per cent.

Unlike in the 2013 election, two campaigns have made hundreds of stops over the past 70 days in rival strongholds seeking to secure a resounding victory for their bids.

Among counties with a significant portion of the 19,611,423 registered voters are Nakuru (949,618), Kakamega (743,739), Machakos (620,254), Bungoma (559,850), Kisii (546,580), and Kilifi (508,068).

Other counties with a high number of registered voters are Homa Bay (476,875), Kajiado (411,193), Siaya (457,953), Nyeri (456,949), Uasin Gishu (450,055) and Makueni (423,310).

Migori (388,633), Kericho (375,668), Busia (351,048), Kirinyaga (349,836), Nandi (346,007) Narok (341,730), Trans Nzoia (339,622), Nyandarua (335,634), Bomet (322,012) and Embu (309,468) will also be key determinants in the race to State House given the cumulative number of voters compared to the total number of voters registered.

Also in focus are counties of Kwale (281,041), Nyamira (278,853), Vihiga (272,409), Laikipia (246,487), Baringo (232,258) and Tharaka Nithi (213,154) which consist a significant chunk of registered voters.

Counties of Turkana (191,435), Elgeyo/Marakwet (180,664), West Pokot (180,232), Mandera (175,642), Garissa (163,350), Wajir (162,902), Taita Taveta (155,716), Marsabit (141,708) and Tana River (118,327) will also come in handy in determining who wins the presidential race on Tuesday by meeting the constitutional threshold of more than half of the total votes cast nationwide and at least 25 per cent of votes cast in at least 24 counties.

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