Kenya: IEBC commissioner quits ahead of repeat Presidential elections

Thursday, 19 Oct, 2017

Akombe resigned Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 in a statement from NY saying the rerun of the presidential election scheduled for Oct. 26 can not be free and fair.

Akombe says IEBC is not ready to hold repeat presidential election.

The Supreme Court on September 1 ordered the IEBC to carry out repeat poll after annulling the presidential owing to "irregularities and illegalities" undertaken by officials.

Odinga last week pulled out of the race, arguing that the mistakes that brought about the annulment of the vote was most likely to be repeated because reforms have not been carried out at the electoral body. The commission has become a party to the current crisis.

After pulling out of the race, the country's opposition under Raila Odinga has changed its stance from "No reforms, no elections" to no elections entirely, planning a massive demonstration on October 26 - also Kenyatta's birthday - to disrupt the exercise.

The resignation of IEBC commissioner Roselyn Akombe is the top trend at the moment on social media after Kenyans woke up to the news that she had resigned from the poll agency.

The head of Kenya's election commission says that despite "full technical preparedness" for this month's fresh presidential vote, it is "difficult to guarantee free, fair and credible elections".

"Under such conditions, it is hard to guarantee free fair and credible elections", Chebukati said.

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Akombe had in a statement from NY stated that she had resigned in what she termed as the IEBC's failure to meet the basic expectations of a credible election.

Kenyatta on Wednesday restated his commitment to the poll, but Odinga called for a mass protest on election day. At least four people have been killed during protests following the court ruling.

Election staff attending training sessions in some opposition strongholds were attacked this week, police said.

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

2007-08 post-election violence in Kenya took more than 1,000 lives.

IEBC chairman, Wafula Chebukati, said he regretted Ms. Akombe's decision to quit and warned Kenya's political leaders not to "interfere with the process".

The election board said it has conducted some reforms and the vote will go ahead with seven candidates including Odinga on the ballot.

"We walk towards the declared date of the 26th of October both as a God-fearing leadership and government", he said in a televised speech. Tweeting on Wednesday, Ruto criticized the election board head's comments: "Chebukati should stop lecturing us and oversee the elections".