Nic Hailey joins observer team as Kenya heads to the polls

Nic Hailey and election observer team
Nic Hailey joins the UK High Commission election observer team. Photo: Twitter/UKinKenya

The UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, joined the observer team this morning as Kenya went to the polls.

With the High Commission closed, Mr Hailey took the opportunity to see Kenyan democracy in action.

Earlier in the day, he Tweeted that today was “a historic day for Kenya.” Addressing the Kenyan people directly, he added that the “World stands with you celebrating democracy. I wish Kenyans a peaceful and empowering #ElectionKE2017”.

The Tottenham Hotspur supporting High Commissioner was joined in wishing Kenyans a peaceful election day by Spurs defender Victor Wanyama who said: “To my fellow countrymen exercising your democratic right tomorrow, I want to wish you all the best and have a peaceful #ElectionsKE2017”.

Professor Nic Cheeseman joined the social media coverage of election day, Tweeting a photograph of an ambulance running people to the polling station to cast their vote.

Voters formed long lines at many polling stations before dawn, waiting for the chance to cast ballots in the tightly contested race for the presidency as well as for more than 1,800 elected positions, including governors, legislative representatives and county officials.

A key concern was whether Kenya would echo its 2013 mostly peaceful election, despite opposition allegations of vote-tampering, or the 2007 election, which led to violence fueled by ethnic divisions that caused the deaths of more than 1,000 people.