Kenyan opposition candidate approved for poll after challenger withdraws

Kenyan opposition candidate approved for poll after challenger withdraws

The Parliament in Kenya on Wednesday 11th, October 2017 passed an amendment to the country's election laws allowing one of the contenders in a repeat of a presidential election to be declared a victor in case the other candidate withdrew from the rerun.

The Supreme Court annulled the result of the original 8 August poll, which saw Uhuru Kenyatta declared victor, after finding irregularities.

On Tuesday, opposition leader, Raila Odinga, announced his withdrawal from this month's presidential election re-run.

The opposition says the changes to the law are meant to make the transmission of election results a manual process that would have fewer safeguards against fraud, and would make it more hard for the court to annul an election.

In another plot twist, Kenya's High Court on Wednesday ruled that a third presidential candidate, Ekuru Aukot of the Thirdway Alliance, who scored less than one percent of the vote in the annulled election, should be allowed on the ballot.

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The Daily Nation reports that, the electoral commission has maintained the October 26 election date regardless of new developments.

The Supreme Court last month rejected the August election in which Mr Kenyatta was declared the victor after Mr Odinga challenged the results, saying hackers infiltrated the electoral commission's computer system to manipulate the vote in Mr Kenyatta's favour. Odinga and his NASA coalition based the decision on the fact that Uhuru Kenyatta would not contest alone in the rerun.

IEBC says that Odinga was yet to submit a dully filled statutory Form 24A that a candidate is required to fill for him to withdraw from the presidential race. It is not yet clear whether the amendment adopted by mainly Kenyatta's legislators in Parliament ensure the law once signed will be retrospective.

That judgement stated that if a candidate dies or withdraws from the fresh election, the IEBC must begin presidential nominations from scratch.

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