Kenya Electoral Official Quits Saying Vote Won't Be Credible
Kenya Electoral Official Quits Saying Vote Won't Be Credible
“I can't be a part of a mockery” IEBC commissioner Roselyn Akombe resigns
18 October, 2017, 12:39
Kenyan electoral official Roselyne Akombe announced her resignation on Wednesday, barely one week before Kenya is schedule to host a new presidential election that has been roiled by critical accusations of political bias.
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. Her departure is also likely to lead Kenyatta to sign into law amendments to electoral law that his ruling Jubilee Party rushed through parliament to ensure that staff changes at the IEBC don't derail the rerun, he said. "The commission is under siege", she said, also saying that it was necessary for "the Commission to be courageous and speak out, that this election as planned can not meet the basic expectations of a credible election". She also said that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was "under siege" and has thus become a party to the crisis that engulfed the nation soon after president Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the victor in the disputed August election.
Akombe said the commission can't on its own solve the political crisis now facing the country.
Akombe said that she had questioned her role at the commission for many months, but had "soldiered on". Not when Commissioners and staff are intimidated by political actors and protestors and fear for their lives.
Akombe, who took a break from a job at the United Nations to serve as an election commissioner, had become a familiar face on television programmes explaining the election process to Kenyans.
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Kenyatta has accused Odinga of pulling out of the race after sensing defeat and trying to cause chaos to force a negotiated settlement.
Despite the confusion over what Odinga's withdrawal means, election officials appear to be pushing forward with plans to hold the vote as scheduled on Oct 26.
The resignation of Roselyn Akombe, one of seven election board commissioners, is likely to be seized upon by the opposition to bolster its claim that the October 26 poll will not be fair.
More than 1,200 people were killed in violence after a disputed presidential election in December 2007. Odinga on Tuesday called off the daily demonstrations following the killings of some of his followers.
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