Kenya stood on Tuesday at dangerous crossroads two days ahead of presidential elections, with deep divisions between rival leaders, publicly-voiced doubt over the vote’s credibility and a last-ditch legal bid to delay the poll. The opposition staged further protests, pursuing its vow to keep up the pressure from the street but also fuelling anxiety over potential violence on polling day and beyond. And in a further twist to the saga, the Supreme Court announced it would meet on the eve of voting to hear a petition to delay the election. Thursday’s drama is rooted in a decision by the same court to overturn the result of the first presidential election, which took place on August 8.
The annulment, based on irregularities in the electronic transmission of votes, was hailed as an opportunity to deepen democracy in a country plagued by disputed elections.
But the re-run has instead been dogged by chaos and acrimony.
Top diplomats and observers have excoriated both opposition leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta for division instead of searching for a path to a free and fair election.