Nairobi, Kenya - Presidential candidate Raila Odinga voted in Kenya's first election in five years Monday, saying he was optimistic that his coalition would win the presidential vote with a more convincing majority to avoid a runoff.
'I am going to win convincingly so there is no runoff,' Odinga told a local television at his home shortly before leaving to cast his vote in Nairobi Monday.
The elections kicked off smoothly, and an attack in Mombasa, the second city, that left at least four police officers and two of the attackers dead, appeared not to dampen the mood of the voters in the East African nation.
'Kenyans have heeded our call to turn up. They have responded in record numbers and I am sure Kenyans will make a very strong statement that they want change. I am very confident,' Odinga told reporters after casting his vote at the Kibera primary school.
Odinga said it took him about four minutes to cast his vote in the elaborate system of voting that appeared to confuse even the more elite of voters.
Charity Ngilu, a stalwart of the Jubilee Alliance, one the two leading coalitions, was stopped just in time before dropping her vote at the wrong box.
The elections appeared troubled at some places, where the Biometric Voter Registers (BVR) failed to function.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Isaack Hassan said voting were suspended in four areas and would be repeated on 11 March because of mix ups in the pictures and party symbols of the candidates.
Odinga said the high voter turnout in most places reflected the change being sought by Kenyans.
He said it was also still too early call for an extension of voting hours in places which suffered delays or where the BVR kits failed.
The Premier also said he would not wish to see a repeat of the confusion that characterised the 2007 elections and the post-election violence that shook the country to its roots.
'I have always been confident and I hope that nothing of the sort will happen this time,' Odinga said.
Meanwhile, one of Odinga's rivals, Uhuru Kenyatta, voted in Gatundu, where he pledged to accept the poll results.
'Kenyans know me. This is not my first time to seek the presidency. When I was defeated, I conceded. We want all to accept the results and anybody who has issues to go to court. We want peace,' Kenyatta said.