Senior Kenyan electoral official resigns ahead of poll

Roselyn Akombe, a top commissioner from the country’s electoral body, says next week’s poll will not be ‘credible’.

Local media reported Akombe fled to New York City fearing for her safety [Tony Karumbe/AFP]

A senior official from Kenya’s electoral commission resigned and left the East African country saying next week’s polls will not be credible.

Roseyln Akombe – a commissioner at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) – said late on Tuesday the body was “partisan” and part of the political crisis facing the country.

“It has become increasingly difficult to continue attending plenary meetings where commissioners come ready to vote along partisan lines and not to discuss the merit of issues before them,” Akombe said in a statement.

“The commission in its current state can surely not guarantee a credible election on 26 October 2017. I do no want to be party to such a mockery to electoral integrity,” Akombe said.

Local media reported Akombe fled to New York City fearing her safety.

Kenya is scheduled to hold a presidential election rerun next week after the country’s Supreme Court annulled the results of the August 8 vote because of “irregularities” and “illegalities” in the electoral process.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga, President Uhuru Kenyatta‘s main challenger, pulled out of the race last week after claiming his demands for reform of the electoral body were not met.

Announcing his withdrawal, Odinga said: “All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one.”

The opposition has demanded that some electoral officials in charge of the last poll should be replaced.

Parliament last week passed an election law amendment stating if one candidate withdrew from the rerun vote, the remaining one would automatically win. The vote was boycotted by opposition lawmakers.

Kenya has witnessed weeks of streets protests leading to the deaths of several opposition supporters. Odinga on Tuesday called off the daily demonstrations following the killings of some of his followers.

A court lifted on Tuesday the government’s ban on protests at major centres in the country’s three main cities. 

Source: Al Jazeera