Kenya vote in bal­ance as cri­sis deep­en­safter Odinga quits

Stabroek News - - WORLD NEWS -

NAIROBI, - Kenya lurched deeper into po­lit­i­cal con­fu­sion yes­ter­day as a court rul­ing and a par­lia­men­tary vote ap­peared to ease Uhuru Keny­atta’s path to a sec­ond term as pres­i­dent, a day after his chief ri­val quit an elec­tion they were to con­test.

Keny­atta and Raila Odinga were due to face off in a re­peat elec­tion on Oct. 26, after the Supreme Court an­nulled their Au­gust bal­lot - in which the pres­i­dent was de­clared the win­ner.

But Odinga pulled out of the re-run on Tues­day, fu­elling doubts about whether it would be con­tested at all. Wednesday’s in­ter­ven­tions by the ju­di­ciary and leg­is­la­ture added to the un­cer­tainty.

As po­lice used tear­gas to dis­perse op­po­si­tion pro­test­ers de­mand­ing elec­toral re­form, the High Court ap­proved a pe­ti­tion by Ekuru Aukot, who polled less than 1 per­cent in the Au­gust vote, to con­test the sec­ond bal­lot.

The elec­tion board later is­sued a state­ment say­ing that all eight can­di­dates who com­peted in Au­gust would be on the bal­lot. It also said al­though Odinga had no­ti­fied them of his with­drawal by let­ter, he had not yet sub­mit­ted the of­fi­cial form to do so.

The de­vel­op­ments sug­gested that the sec­ond elec­tion would go ahead, with Keny­atta the likely win­ner against a plethora of weaker can­di­dates. No chal­lenger ex­cept Odinga polled more than 1 per­cent.

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