Odinga has not formally withdrawn from rerun, says Kenya’s electoral watchdog
Kenya’s electoral commission says a rerun of the country’s annulled presidential election will go ahead on Octobrt 26, and opposition candidate Raila Odinga has yet to formally withdraw from the race.
Odinga announced on Tuesday that he was pulling out. But the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission said on Wednesday that he still had to file the paperwork to formalise his exit from the poll.
It also said the names of independent candidates previously excluded from the rerun would now be included on ballot papers for the new vote, in line with a High Court ruling earlier on Wednesday.
“The candidates for the fresh presidential election scheduled for October 26 shall include all the eight candidates who participated in the August 8 presidential election,” it said.
“The commission cannot compel a candidate to participate in an election. The law allows a candidate to withdraw his/her candidature by delivering to the commission a duly filled Form 24A.”
Kenya is holding fresh elections after the Supreme Court annulled the August 8 vote because it was not conducted in line with the constitution.
Odinga sent preparations for the ballot into disarray when he announced his withdrawal, citing the commission’s refusal to make changes to its personnel and processes to ensure a credible election.
Odinga’s opposition alliance argued that by withdrawing, Kenya is required to hold fresh nominations and a new election.
Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was declared the victor of the August ballot, has insisted the vote should go ahead.
“The commission appreciates the anxiety across the country following the numerous legal interpretations in this matter,” the IEBC said. “We appeal for calm and dialogue among all players to ensure that elections are successfully held and for the country to move forward.”