Kenyatta lead shrinks in Kenya vote count, raising chance of run-off

NAIROBI Thu Mar 7, 2013 4:00pm EST

An official from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) inspects ballot boxes at Kasarani gymnasium in Kenya's capital Nairobi March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Steve Crisp

An official from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) inspects ballot boxes at Kasarani gymnasium in Kenya's capital Nairobi March 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Steve Crisp

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NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta held his lead in the latest tally of election results published on Thursday, but for the first time his tally fell below the 50 percent that he would need to avoid a run-off ballot.

Deputy Prime Minister Kenyatta had won 3,522,127 votes so far counted from Monday's election, giving him 48.7 percent of the total votes cast as at 2035 GMT, according to a display by the electoral commission at the national tallying center.

His rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, had 3,299,391 or 46.07 percent of the total votes cast.

The votes so far were from 163 out of a total of 291 constituencies, and there is still some way to go in the vote counting, as turnout was estimated at more than 70 percent of the 14.3 million voters.

(Reporting by James Macharia and George Obulutsa; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)

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