After Friday's deadline for parties to present their nomination papers to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the stage is now set for the campaign period in Kenya ahead of the March 4 general elections.
The candidates to succeed President Mwai Kibaki as Kenya's fourth president will be elected from nine candidates who were cleared to contest the March 4 elections. The front runners in the presidential race are; current Prime Minister Raila Odinga of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee Coalition and Musalia Mudavadi of Amani Coalition.
Others in the race are Peter Kenneth of Eagle Alliance, Paul Muite of Safina, and Martha Karua of National Rainbow Coalition (Narc) Kenya, James ole Kiyiapi of Restore and Build Kenya (RBK), and Mohamed Abduda Dida of ARK.
Opinion polls suggest that the race might not realize an outright winner in the first round, which should prompt a run-off between the first two candidates.
According to Analysts, President Kibaki may be in office until June if there is to be a run-off and a petition challenging the second round results.
Article 138(4b) of Kenya's new constitution states that a candidate for president will be declared outright winner if he or she gets at least 51% of the total votes cast and at least 25% of the votes in half of the 47 counties.