Kenyan presidential election, October 2017
19,611,423 registered voters
50% + 1 vote (nationally) and 25% in each of at least 24 counties votes needed to win
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General elections were held in Kenya on 8 August 2017. Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner of the presidential contest with 54.17% of the vote, whilst his main rival Raila Odinga finished second with 44.94% of the vote. The opposition claimed that it had won and that the government had rigged the elections. The opposition appealed to the Supreme Court. Citing a breach of the technical processes required by the constitution and the law, the court returned a verdict (by a margin of 4–2) that the election had not been "conducted in accordance with the constitution", cancelling the results and ordering fresh elections to be held within 60 days. In a television address Kenyatta complained that the decision was tantamount to overturning the "will of the people" He nevertheless stated that though he disagreed with the Supreme Court's decision, he would obey that decision. Raila Odinga on the other hand welcomed the court's verdict, saying "This indeed is a very historic day for the people of Kenya and by extension the people of the continent of Africa."
The President of Kenya is elected using a modified version of the two-round system: to win in the first round, a candidate must receive over 50% of the vote nationally and 25% of the vote in at least 24 of Kenya's 47 counties.
In early October Odinga announced that he was withdrawing from the election. Following his withdrawal from the presidential race, there has been heated debate among lawyers as to the legality of IEBC continuing with the elections. Proponents of the elections argue that the court ruled a repeat election to be conducted within 60 days and this must happen no matter what the main opposition decides to do. Additionally, they argue that it was not possible to reform the IEBC as he was demanding due to constitutional limitations. Moreover, pulling out of the race required him to fill out a form 22a, which he refused to do, saying that it was an unnecessary formality. This means that he intentionally wanted to remain ambiguous and hence had not officially withdrawn. As such, his name would be in the ballot papers. On the opposite end, opponents of the elections argue that the cancellation of one nominee means that there can no-longer be an election as provided for in the Kenyan constitution following the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that such an event necessitated cancellation of an election. Additionally, they argue that as this is not a fresh election but a repeat election, there is no need for any candidate withdrawing to do so by filling any form. This means that Raila's withdrawal through a letter was enough to prove that he is out of the race. Earlier the Third Way Alliance Presidential candidate had appealed against the IEBC decision to exclude him from the vote citing breach of the law. As it turned out, the Court of appeal ruled that the IEBC decision to exclude the candidate had no basis in law since the October 26th election was a fresh election. In fact the court ruled that all Presidential Candidates in the October 26th election were free to contest as Presidential candidates in the October 26th 2017 Fresh Presidential election
On 18 October, recently resigned IEBC Commissioner Roselyn Akombe issued a statement declaring that the second Presidential election wouldn't be a fair election. Akombe also fled to the United States of America out of fear for her life.
On 18 October, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati expressed skepticism about a fair election as well, claiming the IEBC commissioners were partisan-minded and that he would resign unless certain conditions are met to reform the IEBC.
On 20 October, the IEBC's chief executive officer Ezra Chiloba announced that he will not be monitoring the election and that starting 23 October, he will take a three-week vacation. Chiloba's departure has created more uncertainty over who will monitor the election.
On 24 October, the IEBC announced that it would now count back-up paper ballots and not rush to announce the official results based only on numbers sent from the polling stations like in the first Presidential election as well. The same day, Chebukati appointed IEBC Vice Chair Consolata N.B. Maina as the IEBC Deputy National Returning Officer.
Possible election violence
Various sources have reported that Kenya could go into massive violence if Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga fail to sit down and have a concrete dialog before 26 October 2017. This is because many parts of Kenya, including Kisumu City, Mombasa City, Nairobi City, Homa Bay Country, Siaya County, Migori County and others, have experienced anti IEBC protests for more than four weeks. These protests have been marked by police brutality, as the police have been reported to use live bullets on protesters.
|Uhuru Kenyatta||Jubilee Party of Kenya||7,483,895||98.26|
|Raila Odinga||National Super Alliance||73,228||0.96|
|Ekuru Aukot||Thirdway Alliance Kenya||21,333||0.28|
|Abduba Dida||Alliance for Real Change||14,107||0.19|
|Cyrus Jirongo||United Democratic Party||3,832||0.05|
- Statistics per polling station IEBC
- Kenya presidential election cancelled by Supreme Court BBC News, 1 September 2017
- Kenyans go back to the ballot October 17 Daily Nation, 4 September 2017
- Kenya Supreme Court nullifies presidential election, orders new vote CNN, 1 September 2017
- Presidential Candidates Kenya Diaspora Vote
- Article 138 (4) Constitution of Kenya 2010
- Kenya: Raila Odinga withdraws from election rerun The Guardian, 10 October 2017
- "IEBC" (PDF). iebc.or.ke. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2017.