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Kenya’s opposition wants changes ahead of the election re-run in October

NAIROBI — Kenya’s main opposition has set a series of preconditions it says are necessary for a re-run of last month’s annulled presidential vote to be credible, after accusing the electoral authority of preparing “another sham election”.

They include replacing personnel at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission who “abetted fraud”, and live media coverage of results declarations at the country’s 290 constituency tallying centres, National Super Alliance co-leader Musalia Mudavadi told reporters in Nairobi on Thursday.

On September 1, Kenya’s supreme court annulled the August 8 presidential vote, in which President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner, after finding there were “irregularities and illegalities” in the process.

The ruling marked the first time an African court overturned the results of a presidential election. The re-run, set for October 17, has increased uncertainty in East Africa’s biggest economy as it clouds the outlook for the country, where growth is already slowing.

Mudavadi said the commission had failed to acknowledge that the court had found it culpable. “The commission wants to proceed as if the illegalities and irregularities never happened and as if it were never indicted by the same supreme court,” he said. “We see no evidence that the commission is making a good faith effort to conduct a fresh election that fulfills the letter and spirit of the judgment.”

The opposition alliance leader, Raila Odinga, has threatened to call his supporters onto the streets to prevent the re-run from taking place if the commission’s CEO refuses to step down.

On Monday, the commission signaled there will be no changes to its executive body when it announced that “one team with a common vision” will handle the election, with CEO, Ezra Chiloba, being tasked with assessing the “implementation challenges” exposed in the August vote.


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