It took the police the better part of two hours to haul away the bricks that had been stacked, at some point in the night, in front of the polling station at the Olympic Primary School. But few people in the sprawling Nairobi neighborhood of Kibera — as in many other places across Kenya — wanted anything to do with Thursday’s historic vote for president. Some Kibera residents spent the day lobbing stones at the police, while the police spent the day firing tear gas back. “This vote is a massive flop, whichever way you cut it,” said Maina Kiai, a leader of a Kenyan civil society coalition and a former United Nations special rapporteur. For decades, Kenya has been struggling to move from the shadow of dictatorship to a truly inclusive democracy, and the country has sacrificed much on that journey. Ten years ago, more than 1,100 people died and hundreds of thousands were displaced after an election many thought was stolen.Full Article: Low Turnout in Kenya’s Do-Over Election Raises Concerns - The New York Times.
Kenya’s presidential election rerun is set to go ahead on Thursday after the country’s supreme court failed to consider a petition to postpone the highly contentious vote. Amid high tension and fears of violence, only two supreme court judges attended a hearing on Wednesday morning – three short of the five judges needed for a quorum. “This matter cannot be heard this morning,” David Maraga, the chief justice, told reporters in Nairobi, the capital. Elections will now proceed, an election board lawyer said afterwards. Thursday’s disputed election was called after the supreme court annulled an election held in August due to procedural irregularities. The August presidential election was won by the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, by a margin of nine percentage points. Opposition leaders have said they do not believe the rerun will be fair and have called on supporters to stay at home, while Kenyatta has repeatedly said voting should go ahead.Full Article: Kenya election rerun to go ahead after court fails to rule on delay | World news | The Guardian.
Ballot papers for Kenya’s presidential election next week have begun arriving in the country, in a sign that the troubled poll will probably go ahead. The final batch of papers is scheduled to arrive from Dubai on Tuesday, less than 48 hours before Kenyans vote for a second time in less than three months to elect a president. There have been widespread doubts that the Kenyan election officials could overcome huge logistical obstacles to organise the election, taking place after the supreme court annulled the result of an election in August won by the incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta. That the ballot papers have had to be printed overseas – candidates and parties were unwilling to trust local firms – is evidence of the acrimony and mutual suspicion that characterises politics in Kenya.Full Article: Kenya set to hold controversial election rerun as ballot papers arrive | World news | The Guardian.
Editorials: Kenya’s election rerun could be a major setback for African democracy | The Washington Post
Kenya’s fragile political system has veered between breakthrough and breakdown over the past two months amid a hotly contested presidential election. Now the country itself appears in danger of a violent implosion. The government of Uhuru Kenyatta insists it will go ahead with a rerun of the presidential vote on Thursday even though the incumbent’s principal challenger has withdrawn and senior election officials have warned that the outcome will not be credible. That could lead to mass protests and bloodshed — not to mention a major setback for African democracy.Full Article: Kenya’s election rerun could be a major setback for African democracy - The Washington Post.
After his fellow commissioner fled the country, citing threats to her life, Kenya’s top election official on Wednesday accused the nation’s political parties of undermining the country’s stability and warned that he was not confident that next week’s presidential election would be credible. Kenyans are scheduled to vote — again — for president on Oct. 26. The nation’s current president, Uhuru Kenyatta, handily won the first election in August, beating the veteran opposition leader, Raila Odinga, by 1.4 million votes. But Mr. Odinga turned to Kenya’s Supreme Court, arguing that the vote had been manipulated to assure the president’s victory. To the nation’s surprise, the court ruled that the vote was flawed and, in a first for Africa, annulled the results, paving the way for a new election. Still, Mr. Odinga said he would withdraw from the race anyway, insisting that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission was deeply biased against him and would not be able to fix its underlying problems by election day.Full Article: Kenyan Election Official Fears New Vote Won’t Be Credible - The New York Times.
The chief executive of Kenya’s election board, who the opposition has demanded must be fired before a repeat presidential election scheduled for Oct. 26, said on Friday he was taking three weeks of leave. Ezra Chiloba said he had taken a personal decision to take leave in light of the opposition’s demands, without giving more details. He said all arrangements were in place for the election, as ordered by the Supreme Court. “This is the first time I‘m taking leave since my son was born. He turns two years (old) in two weeks’ time,” he told Reuters. The court annulled the first election, held in August and in which incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner, over procedural irregularities.Full Article: Kenya election board CEO rejected by opposition goes on leave ahead of poll.
The European Union urged Kenya’s ruling Jubilee Party and the main opposition alliance to be prepared to compromise hard-line positions to allow for a credible rerun of presidential elections. “Dialogue and cooperation are urgently needed for compromises so there can be a peaceful electoral process with integrity and transparency and Kenyans can chose their president,” the EU’s elections observer mission said on Monday in an emailed statement. Uncertainty about the Oct. 26 election is unnerving investors and clouding the outlook for an economy that’s already slowing. Kenya is a regional hub for companies including Toyota Motor Corp. and could become an oil exporter with Tullow Oil Plc among firms that are likely to start exploiting an estimated 1 billion barrels of crude resources.Full Article: EU Urges Kenyan Political Talks to Break Vote-Rerun Impasse - Bloomberg.
Kenya’s government has banned protests in three city centres, citing lawlessness during opposition rallies against the electoral commission before a scheduled presidential vote rerun. The opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has called for daily protests next week to keep up pressure on election officials, after his refusal to take part in the 26 October poll plunged the country into uncertainty. “Due to the clear, present and imminent danger of breach of peace, the government notifies the public that, for the time being, we will not allow demonstrations within the central business districts of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu,” said the security minister, Fred Matiangi. “The inspector general of police has been advised accordingly.” Hundreds of opposition supporters have marched in recent weeks, sometimes burning tyres and clashing with police who have used teargas to disperse crowds.Full Article: Kenya bans opposition protests as election crisis deepens | World news | The Guardian.
In a surprising but not unfathomable announcement this week, Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) confirmed that the IT infrastructure deployed during the country’s recently nullified presidential election will again be utilised in the approaching re-run on October 26. The Kenyan Supreme Court last month annulled the result of the August 8 election – which had appeared to have been won by incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta – after ruling that the electronic transmission of vote tallies was flawed. This came after a number of issues with the use of technology during the election itself, not least when an election official in charge of voting technology was killed, and followed a number of technological failures at the previous election. Yet, the IEBC plans to plough on with its use of the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) system, implemented by OT-Morpho/Safran, though it says it will also add infrastructure to ensure the integrity of the process and assimilate further experts into its IT department. An exclusive contract with mobile operator Safaricom has also been extended to support the relay of results.Full Article: Why Kenya Must Ditch Technology For Historic Presidential Election Re-Run | AFKInsider.
Kenyan opposition supporters began protests to demand an overhaul of the electoral authority as foreign ambassadors called for a resumption of negotiations on how a rerun of the country’s annulled presidential election will be handled. Police fired teargas to disperse National Super Alliance protesters in the capital, Nairobi, and the western city of Kisumu, as dozens of people marched through the port city of Mombasa. The main business lobby group warned that uncertainty about the vote is damaging the economy. “We are deeply concerned by the deterioration in the political atmosphere and the impact this has had on preparations for the election,” U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Bob Godec said in a statement he read on behalf of 14 diplomats in the East African nation.Full Article: Kenyan Opposition Begins Protests Over Election Impasse - Bloomberg.
Kenya’s main opposition coalition walked out of negotiations on how a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential election will be managed and threatened street protests, setting back preparations for the Oct. 26 ballot. The officials quit the talks because of plans by the ruling Jubilee Party to remove powers from the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission, James Orengo, a senator for the opposition National Super Alliance, told reporters Thursday in the capital, Nairobi. Proposed changes to the law include enabling commissioners to appoint a new chairman and reducing the number of people required to make a quorum, according to a copy of the bill provided by government spokesman Eric Kiraithe’s office. “This law is going to create a lame-duck commission,” Orengo said. “We are left with no alternative but to walk out of this meeting,” he said, adding that negotiations “at this stage are an exercise in futility.”Full Article: Kenya’s Opposition Walks Out of Talks on Election Do-Over - Bloomberg.
Kenya’s supreme court has said it annulled presidential elections held in August because the polls were “neither transparent nor verifiable” and blamed the country’s electoral commission for the shortcomings. Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent president of the east African state, won a second term by a margin of 9%, defeating his long-term rival, Raila Odinga, in the election last month. The country now faces new elections in October, and possible lengthy political instability. The court’s majority decision to annul the poll – the result of which was announced three weeks ago – surprised many observers and embarrassed local, African and western observers who said they had found no major problems with the election. On Wednesday, the court offered a detailed explanation of why it annulled the 8 August election – the first decision of its kind in Africa.Full Article: Kenyan election annulled after result called before votes counted, says court | World news | The Guardian.
Insiders at Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) say there is a possibility that the country’s presidential election do-over could be moved from October 17 to either the 26th or 27th, owing to issues with voting technology. French-supplied voting software known as the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS) needs to be reconfigured before voting takes place. It is expected to be used in more than 250 parliamentary, senatorial and gubernatorial petitions filed in numerous Kenyan courts by losing candidates who wish to challenge the election’s victor. Workers at IEBC point out that the 41,883 polling stations throughout Kenya will require at least 42,000 reconfigured kits. In addition to this, there will likely be a need for extra standby kits in case technical issues occur.Full Article: Kenya: Election re-run in doubt amid technology issues and high court hearings | Africa | DW | 18.09.2017.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That, it seems, is the advice of Kenya’s supreme court to its electoral commission. In a shock decision on September 1st, the court ruled that the presidential election held last month, in which Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent, beat Raila Odinga (pictured), an opposition stalwart, was “invalid, null and void”. The vote, it said, had not been conducted in accordance with the constitution—so it must be redone. As a display of judicial independence, the court’s decision is without precedent, not just in Kenya but across Africa, where it was widely acclaimed. It represents an opportunity—so optimists believe—to build genuine trust in the country’s institutions, especially its highest courts. Yet it also plunges east Africa’s biggest economy back into uncertainty and creates a new risk of violence.Full Article: Kenya’s presidential election has been overturned. What next?.
Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga has said that he will not take part in the presidential election re-run slated for 17 October “without legal and constitutional guarantees”. Last week, the Supreme Court annulled August’s election result saying the electoral commission (IEBC) had not followed the constitution. Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner by the IEBC. The court said a new election needs to be held by 31 October. Speaking to journalists, Mr Odinga said that the fresh vote must held in an environment where everything that went wrong can be corrected.Full Article: Kenya election: Raila Odinga threatens re-run election boycott - BBC News.
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga said Tuesday he does not accept the date for the new presidential elections, demanding reforms to the electoral commission and other “legal and constitutional guarantees.” The East African power faces an Oct. 17 vote after the Supreme Court nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election, saying the electoral commission had committed irregularities. The court called for a new vote within 60 days.Full Article: Kenyan opposition leader rejects date of new elections | The Kansas City Star.
Kenya’s Supreme Court ruling to scrap last month’s presidential election was shaped by a new chief justice who proved a staunch defender of judicial independence on a continent where judges are often seen as being under the thumb of executive powers. David Maraga’s declaration that the Aug. 8 election was void and demand for a new poll with 60 days shocked many in the East African nation and abroad. But his announcement, after a 4-2 vote by a court panel to annul the vote, didn’t surprise those who know the chief justice. “We knew this case was coming and he was the man to hear it,” Professor Tom Ojienda, who worked with Maraga and sits on the Judicial Service Commission that appointed him chief justice, told Reuters. “He is a stickler for the rules.”Full Article: Vote ruling by chief justice surprises Kenyans, but not his colleagues.
As gunfire and screams rang out in her Nairobi neighborhood after last month’s disputed presidential election, Lucy Anyango stepped outdoors and across a tense ethnic divide. The member of Kenya’s Luo minority went to her friend Sheila Kariuki, an ethnic Kikuyu, and walked Kariuki’s two daughters to the safety of her own home amid threats of rape and violence. Angry Luo were rampaging in the streets in protest over the loss of their opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, to President Uhuru Kenyatta, a Kikuyu. As calm began to return the next day, Kariuki thanked her friend in a heartfelt Facebook post. “I will forever be grateful,” she wrote. “As I write this my eyes are full of tears. Dear God, when will this madness ever stop?”Full Article: Kenya faces ethnic tensions as fresh vote approaches - ABC News.
The Kenyan Supreme Court’s courageous decision to nullify the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta is a critical first for Kenya and Africa, demonstrating that democratic institutions are capable of acting independently and resolving disputes that in the past have often spilled over into violence. The ruling was also a rebuke to international monitors and diplomats — and to this page — who were too quick to dismiss charges of irregularities, largely out of relief that the Aug. 8 voting had been mainly peaceful and in the hope that disappointment with the results would not lead to the sort of violence that erupted after the disputed 2007 election, in which hundreds of people were killed.Full Article: Kenya’s Giant Step for Fair Elections - The New York Times.
Somalia’s Supreme Court has nullified several seats of the Lower House chamber considered to be rigged during the parliamentary electoral process in the regional states last year, Garowe Online reports. A total of 8 seats were ordered for re-contest for failing to adhere to the rules of the electoral process, ruling in favor of the appellants who filed for complains against the voting results.Full Article: Somalia: Supreme Court nullifies parliamentary seats, calls for re-e lection.