KENYA ON THE KNIFE EDGE | Kenya will hold a controversial repeat presidential election on Thursday as planned, the head of the election commission has announced.
Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking a second term, won in August but the poll is being held again over irregularities. Amid reports of unrest, he urged Kenyans to vote and remain peaceful.
Opposition candidate Raila Odinga has called on his own supporters to join him in boycotting the ballot, which he wants to hold later. He said: “From today we are transforming the Nasa [National Super Alliance] coalition into a resistance movement.”
“Do not participate in any way in this sham election,” he told cheering supporters. “Convince your friends, neighbours, and everyone else not to participate.”
A bid to delay the election fell apart after only two out of seven Supreme Court judges showed up for a hearing.
One judge, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, failed to appear after her bodyguard was shot and wounded by unknown gunmen on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court annulled the original election in August by a 4-2 majority, saying there had been “irregularities and illegalities”. Some international observers have reduced their involvement in the poll because they say the conditions are not conducive for a free and fair election.
There have been running battles between police firing tear gas and stone-throwing protesters in the city of Kisumu, an opposition stronghold.