Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Kenyan opposition candidate approved for poll after challenger withdraws

Kenyan opposition candidate approved for poll after challenger withdraws

President Kenyatta had insisted that re-run would take place as he questioned his rival's motive of withdrawing from an election after causing Kenyans to spend 12 billion Kenya Shillings for the rerun.

Commission says it is closely monitoring the political situation in Kenya including the decision by NASA leader Raila Odinga to withdraw from the fresh presidential election. However, that vote was annulled by the high court because of voting irregularities.

The Supreme Court last month rejected the August election in which Mr Kenyatta was declared the victor after Mr Odinga challenged the results, saying hackers infiltrated the electoral commission's computer system to manipulate the vote in Mr Kenyatta's favour. "We have come to the conclusion that there is no intention on the part of [election officials] to undertake any changes to its operations and personnel". It is unclear if Aukot intends to continue his presidential run.

"The Commission can not compel a candidate to participate in an election".

Wednesday, the country braced for street protests in Nairobi and Kisumu after Odinga called for demonstrations.

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In a statement on Wednesday evening, the electoral commission said the former Prime Minister is still in the contest despite announcing he had bowed out. Protesters threw stones and were met with police tear gas.

Odinga is counting on a ruling by the Supreme Court after 2013 elections - in which he failed to have the result overturned - which sought to clarify what happens if an election is invalidated.

The controversy added another element of uncertainty to Kenya's economy, which is slowing after a drought.

His withdrawal created confusion in East Africa's largest economy, with observers wondering how the new election might go forward.

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