American aiding candidate detained, faces deportation
NAIROBI, KENYA» A U.s.-based campaign data company confirmed Saturday that its CEO was detained in Kenya and faced deportation after working on the opposition’s campaign ahead of Tuesday’s tightly contested presidential election, while the opposition accused police of raiding one of its offices.
The detention of the CEO of Aristotle Inc. raised further concerns about the vote just days after a top Kenyan election official responsible for the electronic voting system was found tortured and killed.
Brandi Travis with Aristotle said CEO John Aristotle Phillips, an American, and Canadian staffer Andreas Katsouris were detained Friday night and faced deportation later Saturday.
Travis said Phillips was at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.
The two men were assisting opposition candidate Raila Odinga with issues including strategy and data analysis and had chosen to get involved in the Kenyan election because they thought it had the potential for irregularities, Travis told The Associated Press.
“We pick our international campaigns very carefully,” Travis said.
“Odinga was a candidate they really believed in.”
Both Odinga and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta were in their final day of campaigning Saturday as some in the East African nation worried that the vote could turn violent, as it did a decade ago.
Kenyatta is the son of Kenya’s first president.
Odinga is the son of the country’s first vice president and has run in vain for the top post in three previous contests.