Yerevan
23 / November / 2017

Kenya Election Official Says She's Resigning Before New Vote

A Kenyan electoral commissioner has announced her resignation and says the presidential vote just eight days away cannot credibly proceed as planned.

Roselyne Akombe spoke Wednesday from New York but it was not clear if she had fled there.

She said electoral commissioners need to be brave and speak up because the new presidential election scheduled for Oct. 26 cannot meet the basic expectations of credibility.

"We need the Commission to be courageous and speak out, that this election as planned cannot meet the basic expectations of a credible election. Not when the staff are getting last minute instructions on changes in technology and electronic transmission of results. Not when in parts of country, the training of presiding officers is being rushed for fear of attacks from protesters,'' she said.

Kenya's Supreme Court nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's August re-election citing illegalities and irregularities.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga had petitioned the court to overturn the result, claiming hackers infiltrated the commission servers and altered the results in favor of Kenyatta.

Odinga has withdrawn his candidature in the fresh poll, saying the electoral commission had ignored his call for reforms before the vote.

Odinga on Tuesday suspended protests intended to press for reforms to Kenya's electoral commission and cited killings of his supporters by police for his decision to call off the daily protests he had urged for this week.

Human rights groups have accused police of being used by Kenya's president to crush dissent. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch reported that 67 opposition supporters have been killed in protests since the Aug. 11 announcement that President Uhuru Kenyatta had been re-elected in the first election.

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