Kenya's disputed election: The twists and turns

2017-10-24 13:03

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Nairobi - Kenyans are due to go to the polls on Thursday for a re-run of August's presidential election that was annulled by the Supreme Court on the grounds of irregularities.

Here are the key developments in the disputed election race.

Tensions on voting day 

Voters turn out in large numbers on August 8 after a tight race between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, his longtime rival.

There are fears the bad-tempered campaigning will lead to violence. More than 1 100 people were killed in politically motivated tribal violence after the 2007 election.

Early results give Kenyatta a comfortable lead but are immediately rejected by Odinga, who claims hackers broke into the electoral commission database and manipulated the results.

The official results are published on August 11 and give Kenyatta 54.27% of votes to Odinga's 44.74%.

Angry protests erupt immediately in Odinga strongholds. The violence lasts for days. The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights says 37 people are killed, most of them by police.

Historic annulment 

Odinga takes his complaints to the Supreme Court. In a shock announcement on September 1, judges declare the results of the poll "invalid, null and void" and order a re-run within 60 days.

The annulment is a first for Africa.

The date for a new election is later set as October 17.

A confidential memo in which the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) admits to irregularities and failings in the conduct of the vote is made public on September 7.

New vote postponed 

After the Supreme Court releases a detailed judgement lambasting the election commission's handling of the vote, the commission announces on September 21 it has to push back the re-run to October 26 in order to prepare.

Kenya's chief prosecutor on September 23 orders an investigation into the commission.

Late September the ruling Jubilee Party introduces a bill seeking to resolve "ambiguity" in the electoral law.

The opposition slams the move as an effort to render legal some of the "irregularities and illegalities" cited in the Supreme Court's cancellation of the vote.

Odinga pulls out 

Protests erupt in early October as Odinga calls on his supporters to pressure the government to overhaul the election commission. At least three people are killed in the violence that follows.

On October 10 Odinga withdraws from the re-run, saying the election panel has failed to make needed reforms.

But he also indicates this does not mean his battle is over, citing legal arguments his party believes will compel election officials to begin the whole process from scratch.

Commissioner quits 

One of Kenya's seven election commissioners, Roselyn Akombe, announces on October 18 that she has quit and fled the country. "I do not want to be party to such a mockery to electoral integrity," she says.

The commission chief Wafula Chebukati also casts doubt on his organisation's ability to hold a credible vote, accusing both major parties of interference.

Odinga tells a rally of thousands of supporters the same day that there will be "no election" and calls for nationwide demonstrations on polling day.

But the following day, he says he will "reconsider" his decision to quit the race and announce "the way forward" on the eve of the election.

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

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