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IEBC responds to Raila's withdrawal from repeat election

11 October, 2017, 00:34 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Sophia Abdi Noor

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has responded to queries from curious Kenyans on the fate of the repeat presidential election after the withdrawal of opposition leader Raila Odinga.

The National Super Alliance (NASA) chief, Raila Odinga, has been given four days, starting Monday, October 9, to formally tell the nation if he will be on the ballot or not.

Speaking in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, Odinga said, "After deliberating on our position in respect of the upcoming election. we believe that all will be best served by [the party] vacating its presidential candidature in the election scheduled for 26 October 2017". It was the first time a court had overturned the results of a presidential election in Africa, and the court ordered a new election, set for October 26.

But lawyers for President Uhuru Kenyatta are pointing to regulations that say if there are only two candidates and one drops out after nominations, the remaining candidate is the victor.

He assured his supporters that the march to power was still on, but cautioned that it will not be easy as there will be a lot of drama, including defection of Nasa candidates who lost in the August elections.

In early September, the supreme court had annulled the results of the presidential election which were held on August 8 and ordered for a fresh vote in 60 days.

It was not immediately clear whether the election will go ahead or whether Kenyatta will automatically be declared president.

A statement by the US State Department said that while the United States did not back any party or candidate, it fully supports the work of an election board, adding: "Unfortunately, in recent weeks actors on all sides have undermined the electoral commission and stoked tensions".

"We are filling the Jubilee box".

Odinga also wants independent worldwide experts to be engaged to manage the entire ICT framework of the elections, with close supervision of the candidates' agents and the IEBC.

"But Odinga says that the IEBC has refused to even listen to the some of the demands - demands that the NASA coalition says are reasonable - that they have been making".

He was boycotting the polls because his demands for electoral reform were not met, Odinga said during a press conference in the capital, Nairobi.

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