Presidential election rerun set to go ahead in Kenya despite protests

World Today

In Kenya, the rerun of the presidential election is set for Thursday despite efforts to delay or block it. Tensions are high across the country, as supporters of the main opposition party took to the streets in protest and called for a boycott of the vote.

CGTN’s Jane Kiyo reports from Nairobi.

Kenya plunged deeper into political uncertainty on Wednesday, a day before the rerun of the presidential elections. Opposition leader Raila Odinga again called on his supporters to boycott Thursday’s vote. He went a step further and called on them to form a resistance movement.

“From today, we are transforming the NASA (National Super Alliance) coalition into a resistance movement,” said Raila Odinga, leader of Kenya’s main opposition party the National Super Alliance.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court said it would not hear a case to delay the presidential election. There weren’t enough judges to make the decision.

International observers are also concerned over security. The Commonwealth mission has pulled out entirely. The European Union mission is scaling back.

Wednesday’s last-minute drama is the latest in a series of challenges for the country. But the electoral commission has vowed that the vote will go ahead.

“Based on the progress that has been made in the commission, the elections as scheduled will go on tomorrow the 26th of October 2017,” said Wafula Chebukati, head of Kenya’s Election Board.

Thousands of extra security are deployed across the country ahead of the vote.

For some time now, running battles and protests have taken place between opposition supporters and security forces. And it’s hoped Kenyan police and the army are able to prevent any escalation in violence come voting day.