Countdown to Kenya’s poll re-run: What to expect

There has been a lot of political activities as Kenya gears up for the repeat presidential election scheduled for October 26.

The repeat poll has also been clouded with uncertainty following the withdrawal of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who cited lack of reforms in the electoral body.

Here are some of the things expected to happen before October 26:

National prayer day

President Uhuru Kenyatta called for a National Prayer Day to be held on Sunday, October 22. The prayers will be held at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru County.

Nasa way forward

Mr Odinga has promised to give his supporters “a way forward” on October 25, a day before the repeat election.

Mass protests

The National Super Alliance has said it will hold countrywide protests on October 26, the Election Day.

Below are some of the key highlights of what has transpired since the historic ruling by the Supreme Court.

September 1: The Supreme Court in a historic ruling and a first in Africa nullified the presidential election saying the transmission of results was marred by illegalities and irregularities and ordered a new election within 60 days.

The same day, opposition leader Raila Odinga lauded the Supreme Court ruling saying it has revealed what he termed as ‘utter rot’ in the electoral commission and electoral process.

President Uhuru Kenyatta at a press conference at State House accepted the court verdict but promises to ‘revisit’ the decision should he win in the repeat poll. He accused the Supreme Court of ‘robbing’ his victory but promises to abide by the decision of the court.

September 4: The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) gazetted October 17 as the official repeat election date. In the notice, IEBC names two contenders for the race, Mr Kenyatta as the Jubilee Party candidate President and Mr Odinga as the ODM flagbearer.

Also gazetted Deputy President William Ruto and former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka as the running mates of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, respectively.

September 12: President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the first sitting of the 12th Parliament. The joint sitting was boycotted by opposition legislators. Supreme Court judges, including Chief Justice David Maraga also skip event.

September 20: Supreme Court delivered its full judgment on the nullification of the August 8 presidential election. Chief Justice David Maraga, his Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, Smokin Wanjala and Isaac Lenaola state that there was a mess in the transmission of results.

Justices Jackton Ojwang’ and Njoki Ndung’u disagree stating that Odinga, the petitioner, failed to prove claims that the polls were rigged in favour of President Kenyatta and that the polls were free, fair and credible as described by international observers.

September 21: IEBC moved repeat election date from October 17 to October 26. IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati announced that the decision was taken to ensure the agency is adequately prepared after the Supreme Court delivered its detailed ruling on September 20.

October 2: Opposition started massive street protests in its strongholds to push for reforms at IEBC. The protests were later escalated to daily before the government banned the demos in the Central Business District in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu citing wanton destruction of property.

The decision was later quashed by the High Court as picketing is a constitutional right of every citizen.

October 10: Opposition leader withdrew from the presidential repeat poll saying IEBC had blatantly refused to implement its 12 irreducible minimums thereby making the repeat poll less credible than the August 8 poll.

Mr Odinga demanded removal of some secretariat staff led by CEO Ezra Chiloba and other 11 officials whom he claimed bungled the August vote, removal of IT provider OT Morpho as well as ballot papers printer Al Ghurair.

October 11: The High Court ordered the electoral agency to include Thirdway Alliance presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot in the October 26 repeat election.

IEBC was also directed to amend a gazette notice it had issued on presidential candidates to contest in the repeat election to include Mr Aukot’s name.

October 12: Jubilee MPs passed the controversial Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2017. According to the Bill, in the absence of the chair and the vice chair, the remaining five commissioners shall elect an acting chairperson. The Bill also make it a requirement for the IEBC to transmit results of the elections electronically and manually deliver them to the constituency and national tallying centers.

The Bill is now waiting presidential assent.

Opposition has vowed to challenge the amendments in court should President Kenyatta assent to it.

October 13: The electoral commission gazetted additional names of candidates for the repeat presidential elections slated for October 26. IEBC left out the name of former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo as he was recently declared bankrupt.

Mr Chebukati added the names of Dr Ekuru Aukot, Mr Abduba Dida, Mr Joseph Nyagah, Mr Michael Wainaina and Mr Japheth Kavinga as candidates joining President Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee and Nasa’s Raila Odinga in the race.

October 18: Commissioner Dr Roselyn Akombe resigned from the IEBC while in New York saying the October 26 repeat election as planned cannot meet the basic expectations of credibility and fairness.

“The commission in its current state can surely not guarantee a credible election on October 26. I don’t want to be party to such a mockery to electoral integrity,” she said.

October 19: Embattled IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba takes a three week leave ahead of the repeat poll in order to build confidence in stakeholders who had complained about commission officials.

October 20: President Kenyatta during Mashujaa celebrations held at Uhuru Park, Nairobi assures the country that there will be elections on Thursday 26 telling the opposition to issue threats to Kenyans willing to exercise their right through the ballot.

Mr Odinga held a parallel Mashujaa fete in Kisumu County in honour of the victims that were killed by police during the anti-IEBC protests. He reiterated his clarion call to his supporters that there will be no election on October 26.

Credit: Nation.co.ke 

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