Kenya: Election re-run turnout just 30%, down 80% from previous vote

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Kenya’s highly disputed election re-run this week only managed to generate a 30% voter turnout.

Opposition coalition NASA called on Kenyans to boycott the election repeat after party leader Raila Odinga pulled out of the race earlier this month. Voting was suspended in four opposition strongholds in western Kenya due to “security challenges” and NASA is calling supporters in the area to boycott any rescheduled polls.

Kenyatta on course for victory

With Raila Odinga pulling out of the race for ahead of Kenya’s second presidential election attempt, Uhuru Kenyatta is set to secure a second term in charge, despite a low turnout and sporadic security issues.

Voting across most of the Kenya on Thursday but there were clashes between opposition supporters and security forces in parts of the country. At least two people were killed in clashes between police officers and protesters disputing the election.

Some opposition supporters prevented people from voting, despite Odinga calling for them to stay away.

Eyes on electoral commission

Kenya’s electoral commission (IEBC) now has seven days to announce the result from Thursday’s vote. However, with only one candidate running in Kenya’s election repeat, declaring Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner is little more than a formality.

Many lawyers and analysts predict the result will ultimately be contested in the courts, but Odinga is yet to confirm whether he will appeal.

Either way, the IEBC’s priority will be proving that Thursday’s poll was a legitimate and fair election, free from the kind of “irregularities and illegalities” that prompted the Supreme Court to nullify August’s initial election result.

 

Featured image: “Kenya Election Posters” flickr photo by theglobalpanorama https://flickr.com/photos/121483302@N02/14483736320 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.