Kenya's election chief fears presidential vote won't be credible


Some lauding her move and calling for the commission's chair to follow suit while others read mischief in the decision and claimed that she was sabotaging the October 26 elections.

It is "difficult to guarantee a free, fair and credible election" in Kenya's fresh presidential vote just eight days away despite "full technical preparedness", the head of the election commission said Wednesday as another wave of uncertainty swept through East Africa's largest economy.

"I will not go down in the history of this country" as a leader who "plunged the country into a worse crisis than I found it", Chebukati said.

The opposition leader, Raila Odinga pulled out of the re-run after the Supreme Court annulled the result of the original 8 August poll after finding irregularities and illegalities when current President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the victor.

But the run-up to the new poll has been fraught, particularly since Kenyatta's main challenger, opposition leader Raila Odinga has pulled out of the vote, alleging a failure to improve the oversight of the election.

Roselyn Akombe, an election board commissioner, has resigned and fled Kenya a week before a rerun of the presidential election.

"I am convinced that without critical changes in key Secretariat staff we may not have a free, fair and credible election".

"Under such conditions, it's hard to guarantee a free, fair and credible election", he said. Youths have also broken up meetings by election officials in the opposition stronghold of western Kenya this week.

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Speaking to The Associated Press from New York, Akombe said she fled out of fear for her life. She told BBC radio that she had fled to NY after receiving numerous threats that came from both sides.

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

At least 37 people have died in violence since the August vote, including four killed in confrontations between police and protesters in the past week.

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".

He said the government wants Odinga to run but could not force him.

"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.

She said that it has become increasingly hard to continue attending plenary meetings where commissioners come ready to vote along partisan lines and not to discuss the merit of issues before them. Tweeting on Wednesday, Ruto criticized the election board head's comments: "Chebukati should stop lecturing us and oversee the elections".