17 October set as new date for Kenya’s Presidential vote

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Voter verification in Kenya
Verification of the register by voters in Kenya. Photo: Twitter/IECBKenya

October 17 has been announced by Kenya’s Independent Electorial and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as the date for a new Presidential vote as ordered by the Supreme Court when it annulled August’ poll won by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The election will see Kenyatta, who is running for a second term, face opposition leader Raila Odinga, the commission said.

Kenyatta won the August 8 vote by 1.4 million votes, but on Friday the Supreme Court ruled that the election commission had not followed proper procedures, ordering it to hold a new vote within 60 days.

Following the ruling, Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake criticised British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson for prematurely congratulating Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, adding that in his opinion the original election result “looked a bit dodgy”.

While Friday’s decision shocked some in Kenya, many saw it as an example of judicial independence and a step forward for democracy in the country.

Raila Odinga, who has lost the previous two elections, welcomed the judgement but called for senior officials at the election board to resign and for them to face possible prosecution.

However, spokesmen for Kenyatta and the election board rejected calls to change to the entire board.

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