Nairobi — Kenya’s new election has been delayed to October 26, the polls commission said on Thursday, as it seeks more time to fix issues that led to the initial vote being annulled.
The decision comes a day after the Supreme Court issued a detailed judgment lambasting the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for failing to properly conduct the election.
The court ordered a fresh election, which had initially been set for October 17. However doubts had piled up over the ability of the commission to conduct necessary reforms and preparations in such a short time.
In a statement, the IEBC said it had decided to push back the vote as the full court ruling “impacts on the election operations and in particular (the) technology to be deployed”.
“In order to ensure that the commission is fully prepared to deliver an election that meets the standards set out by the Supreme Court, we wish to notify the public and all stakeholders that the fresh presidential election shall now be held on Thursday 26 October.”
Earlier, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta slammed the Supreme Court ruling that annulled the vote as a "judicial coup".
Supporters of Kenyatta’s ruling Jubilee Party will win the election "by casting votes on the date to be announced" by the IEBC, Kenyatta told a gathering of community leaders in the capital, Nairobi, on Thursday.
The Supreme Court nullified the outcome of the August 8 ballot, the first time a presidential election result has been legally overturned in Africa, after finding the electoral commission committed "irregularities and illegalities" and failed to conduct the vote in line with the constitution.
The court cited a litany of failures by the commission in its detailed judgment delivered on Wednesday, including that the body declared the outcome of the vote without the proper documents.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has demanded an overhaul of the electoral authority, including the removal of CEO Ezra Chiloba, before he will take part in the rerun.
Kenyatta, who was declared the winner of the first round, said on Thursday the court had set back the democratic ideals Kenyans have sought "over many years" to attain.
"In a democratic and free nation, where citizens’ rights are to be respected, we are now being told their will doesn’t matter," he said. "It’s only a few individuals who can decide for the 45-million people who their leaders can be."
respond to the judgment later, Limo said.
Bloomberg , AFP