Kenya's repeat presidential elections set for 17 Oct

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Kenya's electoral body has set 17 October as the date for a repeat of presidential elections following a directive from the Supreme Court.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati said there shall be no new nominations for the envisaged fresh election ordered by the Supreme Court, wich annulled the presidential elections held on 8 August.

Chebukati said opposition leader Raila Odinga, along with his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, and President Uhuru Kenyatta, along with his running mate William Ruto, shall be the only candidates.

"The commission is revising the operational and procedural requirements for the conduct of the fresh election and will share details with stakeholders sooner than later," Chebukati said in a statement issued following a plenary meeting in Nairobi.

Chebukati said in light of the Supreme Court judgment, it is imperative that a detailed judgment in the just-concluded petition be released in order to allow the electoral body to identify areas that require improvement in the management of the fresh election.

"The commission calls for patience and understanding among all stakeholders as we work together to deliver free, fair, credible and peaceful elections," he said.

The Supreme Court called for a new election within 60 days after finding irregularities in the re-election of Kenyatta in last month's elections.

The court ruled that the presidential elections were not conducted in accordance with the constitution, rendering the result invalid, null and void. The court said that Kenyatta was not validly elected.

Four out of the six judges at the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Odinga, who is from National Super Alliance (NASA) party, which contested the election results and filed a petition at the apex court to have them overturned.

Analysts say the nullification of Kenyatta's victory is particularly crucial to Odinga, as it grants his political career a lifeline, given that he had vowed never to contest for presidency again.

This is the fourth time 72-year-old Odinga has lost an election, often citing irregularities.

Kenyatta, who garnered 8.22 million votes against the opposition leader's 6.8 million votes, said his win was a result of "the will of the people".

"It is important to respect the rule of law. We believe in the rule of law. We are ready to go back again to the people with the same agenda," he said.

He called on Kenyans to maintain peace and vowed to beat his arch-rival Odinga and NASA in the repeat election.

Odinga urged other African countries also to follow suit by adopting democracy in the running of state affairs.

Meanwhile, the IEBC has appointed a six-member team to preside over the rerun of the presidential elections. They have appointed Marjan Hussein Marjan to be the project coordinator. Head of Operations will be Sidney Namulungu, while Albert Gogo is appointed as Head of ICT.

Those who have been sidelined include the commission's Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba, and his deputy Betty Nyabuto, the commission's director of voter registration.

The six staff members will work for a period of three months. – Xinhua 

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