The Latest: Kenya judge rules poll agents named illegally
A Kenyan judge has ruled that the appointments of electoral agents at the constituency level for the Thursday’s repeat presidential election are illegal, throwing more uncertainty on the controversial elections.
Judge George Odunga ruled Wednesday that the electoral commission did not follow the law when appointing constituency returning officers and their deputies. Returning officers manage the polling centers at the constituency level and are responsible for the transmission of results to the national tallying centers.
Despite this ruling, the electoral commission announced that the repeat elections will go ahead as planned Thursday with the appointed returning officers and deputies.
Last month the Supreme Court nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s August re-election, citing irregularities and illegalities in the vote. Opposition leader Raila Odinga had challenged the results claiming hackers had infiltrated the electoral commission’s computer system and had manipulated the vote. Odinga is boycotting the repeat elections, saying the electoral commission has not implemented adequate reforms to guarantee credible elections.
Kenya’s electoral commission announced that the repeat presidential elections will go ahead as planned on Thursday. The tweet from the commission said Kenyan electoral officials “will conduct the fresh presidential election 26th October 2017.”
The announcement comes amid rising tensions. Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga is boycotting the elections, saying they will not be free and fair. The electoral commission chairman has said that he cannot guarantee elections that are credible and a member of the electoral board resigned and left the country, saying she feared for her safety.