Africa 25.10.2017 04:30 pm

Kenya poll chief confirms election to go ahead Thursday

Kenya poll chief confirms election to go ahead Thursday

Kenya’s poll chief confirmed Wednesday that a highly-contentious election would take place as scheduled, despite the absence of opposition leader Raila Odinga and numerous concerns over its credibility.

“Based on assurances given to this commission by the relevant authorities and security agencies, based on the progress that has been made in the commission, the election as scheduled will go ahead tomorrow, the 26th of October,” said Wafula Chebukati, head of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

With Odinga refusing to participate and numerous last-minute legal battles over the election’s legitimacy, there has been a big question mark over whether the vote would actually take place.

Last week, Chebukati said he could not guarantee the election would be credible, free, and fair, citing internal divisions in the IEBC and interference from political leaders.

He also said an election official’s house had been “burned to ashes”.

Despite confirming the poll would go ahead, Chebukati was downbeat, saying when “midwifing democracy… becomes as risky as going to war, then we are at our lowest”.

In the run-up to the initial election on August 8, whose result was ultimately overturned, top IEBC IT official Chris Msando was tortured and murdered.

 

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