Kenya Announces Date Of New Presidential Elections

Siboniso Mawandla | The Republic Mail

By Staff writer

Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has announced that new presidential elections will take place on October 17.

The announcement followed the country’s Supreme Court overturning the result of last month’s poll which secured incumbent President Uhuru Kenyata a second-term in office.

“A fresh presidential election will be held on October 17, 2017,” said a statement released on Monday signed by Wafula Chebukati, chairperson of the IEBC.

“This is in conformity with the Supreme Court decision annulling the presidential election held on August 8, 2017.”

However, unlike the August elections which saw a number of candidates running, in the October poll only Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, who challenged the results of the August results through the Supreme Court, will be on the ballot paper.

On Friday, Chief Justice David Maraga cancelled the results of the August poll saying the election commission had failed to hold a legitimate election and that the results were therefore “invalid, null and void”.

Maraga further accused the IEBC of committing “irregularities and illegalities” in the transmission of results from polling stations to the national tally centre.

The electoral commission has requested a full explanation from the court outlining its decision.

“It is imperative that a detailed judgement is released in order to allow the Commission to identify areas that require improvement,” said Chebukati.

In the interim Odinga and his supporters are demanding that the head of the electoral commission be replaced and that a different company print the ballot papers while also expressing dissatisfaction with the computer method of transmission.

Odinga’s complaints to the Supreme Court was his third attempt at challenging election results.

The disputed result of the 2007 election triggered widespread violence that left over 1,100 people dead, while in 2013 the Supreme Court threw out Odinga’s challenge.

Two-days of protests, in the slums of Nairobi and Kisumu two opposition strongholds, followed Kenyatta’s victory on August 11 as he took 54 percent of the vote.

Reports say at least 21 people, including a baby and a nine-year-old girl, were killed, mostly by police.

– African News Agency (ANA)