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Kenya's election to go ahead after judges' no-show

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 01:49

Kenya plunged deeper into crisis on Wednesday as a shortage of judges scuppered an eleventh-hour petition to delay a presidential election and the governor of a volatile opposition region endorsed rebellion against the state. Scarlett Cvitanovich reports.

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Anger on Kenya's streets after an eleventh-hour petition to delay the country's presidential election went unheard. The Supreme Court was scheduled to sit on Wednesday (October 25). However, five judges failed to turn up, preventing the hearing from going ahead. One judge was unwell, one was abroad and another couldn't attend after her bodyguard was shot the night before. It was unclear why the other two were absent. The Supreme Court is the only institution that could have delayed Thursday's (October 26) vote. And means a repeat of August's election will proceed as planned. Incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta had been due to face off against opposition leader Raila Odinga in the rerun. That after August's vote was annulled by the Supreme Court due to irregularities. But Odinga pulled out earlier this month saying the new vote won't be free and fair. That after his demand for some members of Kenya's electoral board to be replaced wasn't met. Prompting him to instruct loyalists to boycott the vote. Within minutes of the Supreme Court's announcement hundreds of Odinga's supporters took to the streets of Kisumu, one of his main strongholds and a region whose governor has endorsed rebellion against the state. Such comments seem certain to fuel fears of a major confrontation with security forces already blamed for killing nearly 50 people in slums after the cancelled August vote. Two months ago Kenyatta won by 1.4 million votes and has made clear he wants the re-run to go ahead. The Supreme Court has said it is prepared to annul it and send the country back to square one, if the vote does not pass muster.

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Kenya's election to go ahead after judges' no-show

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 - 01:49