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Kenyan Electoral Commission official resigns

NAIROBI – A member of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has resigned, saying the planned October 26 repeat election will not meet the basic expectations of a credible and fair election.

Commissioner Roselyn Akombe announced her resignation on Wednesday in a statement sent from New York, where she was based before IEBC.

“The commission in its current state can surely not guarantee a credible election on October 26. I do not want to be party to such a mockery to electoral integrity,” she said.

Akombe had had earlier told BBC on Wednesday morning, she went to New York after fearing for her life.

She was quoted by the Daily Nation on Wednesday that IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati is under siege.

She cited Tuesday attacks on IEBC staff as they trained in Kisumu, Siaya and Homa Bay, saying the environment under which the repeat is set be held has been poisoned.

“It broke my heart in the last few days to listen to my staff in the field, majority of whom truly want to do the right thing, express to me their safety and security concerns,” she said

“I shared detailed reports from staff in four of the counties most hit by the ongoing protests — Nairobi, Siaya, Kisumu, and Homa Bay— with the hope that this will bring sobriety to our decision making. Instead this was met with more extremist responses from most commissioners, who are keen to have an election even if it is at the cost of the lives of our staff and voters,” she said.

Akombe was supposed to be part of a team that is in Dubai to monitor the printing of ballot papers by Al Ghurair.

After the August 8 poll, Dr Akombe was ordered out of a plane at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport while she was on her way to New York. IEBC, however, downplayed the incident, terming it a “delay”.

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