Kenya waits for an end to presidential re-run

2017-10-30 08:15
File: AFP

File: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - Kenya's election board is expected on Monday to decide whether to reschedule a vote in flashpoint opposition areas, where a boycott sparked violent protests, or to push ahead with declaring victory for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

With the counting almost done after Thursday's presidential re-run, the results remained on hold as officials mulled what to do about the 25 constituencies in four western counties where voting was blocked.

Supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who called for an election boycott, managed to prevent hundreds of polling stations from opening, prompting violent clashes with police which continued for several days, leaving nine dead and scores injured.

At least 49 people have died since the first presidential election of August 8, which was later overturned, prompting Kenya's worst political crisis in a decade.

The months-long electoral dispute and increasingly divisive political rhetoric has polarised the nation and sparked international concern about the future of east Africa's most stable democracy.

Following Odinga's boycott, Kenyatta is guaranteed a crushing win.

Turnout figures given by election chief Wafula Chebukati late Sunday suggested the opposition boycott had held with a turnout of 7.4 million people, equivalent to just 43 percent of voters in 251 of the 266 constituencies where the election took place.

Re-run re-run?

Chebukati said he was "satisfied" with the counting process but made no comment on what would happen in the protest-hit western areas.

Plans to restage the vote in the western regions on Saturday were quickly called off after a second day of protests, over fears for the safety of polling staff.

On Sunday, Odinga, who says Thursday's poll would have been neither free nor fair, continued to demand a new election within 90 days, vowing to stage a campaign of "civil disobedience".

But William Ruto, Kenyatta's deputy, was intransigent.

"There will be no election in 90 days, there will be no discussion on matters to do with elections," he told Doha-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

Thursday's presidential re-run was ordered by Kenya's Supreme Court after it overturned Kenyatta's August victory over "irregularities" in the transmission of votes.

That ruling stipulated that the vote must be completed by October 31.

While the Supreme Court ruling was hailed as a chance to deepen democracy, the acrimonious bickering between Odinga and Kenyatta -- whose fathers were rivals before them -- has sharply divided a country where politics is already polarised along tribal lines.

The current political crisis is the worst since a 2007 vote sparked months of politically-driven ethnic violence that left 1,100 people dead.

While the dynamics of 2017's political crisis are very different, the memory of the bloodshed a decade ago is never far away.

Read more on:    uhuru kenyatta  |  raila odinga  |  kenya  |  kenya 2017 elections  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Mobile Developer

Cape Town
Goldman Tech Resourcing
R360 000 - R480 000 Per Year

Tax Compliance Officer

Cape Town
Mass Staffing Projects
R280 000 - R300 000 Per Year

Sales Representative

Cape Town
Pax Staffing Dynamix (Pty) Ltd
R8 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.