Kenyan election officials were counting millions of ballots Friday in the country's closest-ever presidential race after an election praised as orderly and peaceful despite sporadic violence.
Thursday's contest pitted President Mwai Kibaki against his former ally, flamboyant opposition candidate Raila Odinga. Lines at polling stations stretched for miles in some areas, a sign Kenyans are increasingly confident their votes count as the continent swings firmly toward democracy.
Results were coming in from around the country and counting could stretch into Saturday in a vote deemed too close to call, the electoral commission said. Unofficial results by local media, taken from tallies at some polling centers, all put Odinga in the lead, but the groups cautioned that not all constituencies had been checked.
Violence was a major concern in the run-up to the election, and several diplomats have expressed concern that a narrow victory on either side could lead to rioting by those who do not accept or trust the results. But Thursday's process was generally orderly, and no major disruptions were reported.