February 25, 2018

Campaigns for fresh Kenya poll end Monday night

24 October 2017, 12:28 | Rufus Hill

President Uhuru Kenyatta calls for peace before repeat polls

President Uhuru Kenyatta First Lady Margaret Kenyatta Deputy President William Ruto and his wife Rachael when they attended national prayers at Nakuru's Afraha Stadium

Kenya is holding the re-run after the Supreme Court threw out the result of an August 8 election won by the incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta but disputed by the challenger, Odinga.

The Supreme Court of Kenya nullified the August 2017 election on September 1, and ordered the holding of a new one.

Mobs attacked electoral commission centers in parts of western Kenya last week, disrupting training for electoral officials ahead of the vote.

Speaking on behalf of a group of foreign ambassadors, Robert F. Godec said Monday that the electoral commission had addressed many concerns about its operations since the Supreme Court nullified an August 8 vote because of what it called irregularities and illegalities.

"Our constitution grants us the right to protest, and we will continue doing so peacefully despite being met with violence and intimidation each time".

Last week, a senior member of the electoral commission (IEBC) fled to the United States amid death threats.

Kenyan officials are asking for restraint ahead of an election Thursday that the main opposition group led by Raila Odinga says it will boycott.

The Supreme Court of Appeal annulled his victory, saying the poll was marred by irregularities and illegalities.

The National Super Alliance (Nasa) has announced that demonstrations to push for reforms in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will resume Tuesday and will proceed daily until all the necessary changes are realised and free and fair elections held. Kenyatta had been declared the victor in the earlier vote.

In a joint statement, UN Secretary-General António Guterres and AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Mahamat, urged political actors, parties and their supporters to create conditions for peaceful election and refrain from any act of violence.

Standoff between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga continued to divide Kenya as the Thursday repeat elections draw near.

However, in an earlier address to the nation last week, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati referred to infighting in the commission and told Kenyans that he could not guarantee credible election come October 26.

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