KENYA, OCTOBER 18, 2017 – A Kenyan election official resigned on Wednesday, a week ahead of a disputed repeat of the presidential election, saying the poll would not be credible because the electoral commission was “under siege.”
“The commission in its current state can surely not guarantee a credible election on 26 October 2017. I do not want to be party to such a mockery to electoral integrity,” Roselyn Akombe said in a statement issued from New York, after fleeing the East African nation.
“The Commission has become a party to the current crisis” with commissioners “ready to vote along partisan lines and not to discuss the merit of issues before them,” Akombe added.
Staff had been receiving last-minute instructions to change technology and electronic transmission of results, intimidated by political stakeholders and fearing for their lives, according to Akombe.
Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta meanwhile insisted during an address on national television that the August 8 elections had been “free, fair and transparent.”
It was all political parties duty to “fulfill our constitutional mandate” and participate in the repeat polls, Kenyatta said.
A repeat poll was announced after the Supreme Court nullified the result of the August 8 election after opposition leader Raila Odinga lodged a complaint, claiming that the computers of the electoral commission had been hacked to generate a victory for Kenyatta.
Odinga demanded electoral reform, including the removal of top managers of the electoral commission and a change of suppliers of polling materials and technology.
Initial results from the August poll would have given incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta a second term with 54 per cent of the vote, followed by Odinga with 44.7 per cent.