Published: Thu, October 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Kenya parliament passes controversial election law amendment

Kenya parliament passes controversial election law amendment

There is widespread anger, however, after parliament on Wednesday passed the new law, which says if one candidate withdraws, then the other automatically wins the presidency. The Act awaits the signing of the President to become law.

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

National Super Alliance Presidential candidate Raila Odinga will be on the October 26 presidential ballot paper despite announcing on Tuesday that he had withdrawn from the repeat poll, the electoral commission has stated.

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.

Though the commission took note of a letter from Odinga and his running mate announcing their withdrawal, it said the men had not submitted the official form to do so. Protesters threw stones and were met with police tear gas.

The decision came after High Court Justice Mativo delivered a verdict that all candidates who participated in the General Election held on the August 8, 2017 were entitled to participate as candidates in the fresh presidential election.

Odinga said he was not contesting in the October 26 re-run because he did not expect the process to be fair and transparent, a decision that had plunged Kenya into uncharted waters.

Tension between Kenyatta's ruling Jubilee Party and Odinga's opposition party have risen since the initial August election.

The opposition view is that a 2013 ruling by the Supreme Court means if any candidate withdraws, the IEBC must conduct fresh poll nominations, beginning the whole process over again.

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