Kenya to hold fresh presidential election on October 17

Electoral commission says only Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga will be on the ballot along with their running mates.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga speaks during a news conference at the offices of the National Super Alliance coalition in Nairobi
The camp of opposition leader Raila Odinga is calling for the replacement of the head of the electoral commission [Reuters]

Kenya’s electoral commission has announced that the country’s new presidential elections will take place on October 17, after the country’s Supreme Court overturned the result of last month’s poll that declared President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner

“A fresh presidential election will be held on the 17th of October 2017,” said a statement released on Monday signed by Wafula Chebukati, chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

“This is in conformity with the Supreme Court decision annulling the presidential election held on 8th August 2017.”

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Chebukati said only Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, who brought the court challenge, would be on the ballot along with their running mates.

On Friday, Chief Justice David Maraga cancelled the results of the August poll saying the election commission had failed to hold a legitimate election and that the results were, therefore, “invalid, null and void”.

He added that the IEBC had committed “irregularities and illegalities” in the transmission of results from polling stations to the national tally centre.

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A full explanation of the court’s reasoning has yet to be published.

Chebukati said: “It is imperative that a detailed judgement … is released in order to allow the Commission to identify areas that require improvement.”  

Odinga’s demands

Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips, reporting from the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, said Odinga’s camp had various demands for the election to be carried out in a fair way.

READ MORE: Kenya Supreme Court annuls result of presidential polls

“They have been saying that the head of the electoral commission should be replaced, and they want a different company to be involved in the printing of ballot papers. Moreover, they are not happy with the computer method of transmission” said Phillips.

“There are still very contentious issues in a highly charged atmosphere.”

Kenyatta has committed to campaigning hard to win the new election, while Odinga has called for IEBC personnel to be replaced in light of the court ruling.

The recent complaint to the Supreme Court was the third time in a row that Odinga had cried foul. The disputed result of the 2007 election triggered widespread violence that left over 1,100 people dead, while in 2013 the Supreme Court threw out Odinga’s challenge.

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The August 11 declaration of Kenyatta’s victory with 54 percent of the vote sparked two days of protests in the slums of Nairobi and Kisumu, traditional opposition strongholds.

At least 21 people, including a baby and a nine-year-old girl, were killed, mostly by police, according to a tally by AFP news agency.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies