UK urges 'patience and restraint' after Kenya vote

Britain urged Kenyans to show restraint after a tense presidential election that saw Uhuru Kenyatta snatch a first round victory Saturday and his rival Raila Odinga vow to challenge the results in court.

"I urge all sides to show patience and restraint, to accept defeat or take any disputes to the courts," said Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds.

He congratulated the Kenyan people on a peaceful vote so far, adding: "Kenyans have expressed their sovereign will, and I congratulate all the candidates who have been successful.

"This is a historic moment for Kenya, when the Kenyan people have come together at the ballot box to achieve the promise of the new constitution and choose their future leaders."

Simmonds said he was confident that any disputes would be dealt with "swiftly and fairly" by the courts in the former British colony.

"I appeal to all parties to maintain the same peaceful and democratic spirit that we have witnessed so far," he said.