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Senior election official flees Kenya, says fresh polls cannot be credible

Senior election official flees Kenya, says fresh polls cannot be credible

Kenya

A senior Kenyan election official resigned from her job a week before a repeat presidential election, saying the election board was under siege and could not hold a credible election.

Roselyn Akombe, an election board commissioner, or member of its top panel, cited lack of cohesion among its eight members and the secretariat for her decision to leave.

“The commission has become a party to the current crisis. The commission is under siege,” she said in a statement issued from New York and dated Tuesday.

The election, as planned, fell short of the test of credibility, she added.

“We need the commission to be courageous and speak out that this election as planned cannot meet the basic expectations of a credible election.”

Kenyan law requires the repeat election to be held within 60 days of nullification of the original vote. The constitution is silent on what happens if that timeline is not met, sparking fears of a constitutional crisis if next week’s poll does not go ahead.

Odinga has called daily demonstrations to protest against the election body. At least three people have been killed in the ensuing melee when the protests turned violent.

Kenyatta has accused Odinga of pulling out of the race after sensing defeat and trying to cause chaos to force a negotiated settlement.

More than 1,200 people were killed in violence after a disputed presidential election in Dec. 2007.

Reuters

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