Kenya president snubs vote crisis meeting, presses on with campaign


The rift between Kenyan leaders, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his main rival Raila Odinga, remains as the country heads to October 26 repeat polls.

Kisumu's deputy governor, Mathews Ochieng Owili, says that "there is no way we are going for an election where the referee is partisan".

Odinga demanded electoral reform.

The head of Kenya's election commission says that despite "full technical preparedness" for this month's fresh presidential vote, it is "difficult to guarantee free, fair and credible elections". His no-holds-barred statement in which he slammed the "arrogance and narcissism of our political class" came just hours after another commissioner announced she had quit after fleeing to NY in fear for her life.

The Resignation of Kenya's Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioner, Roselyne Akombe and IEBC chair reading riot act to President Uhuru Kenyatta, grabbed the attention of major dailies on Thursday."Chebukati: I'm ready to mediate Uhuru, Raila talks", screamed the headline of the Star newspaper which reported that Kenya plunged deeper into turmoil yesterday after IEBC Commissioner Roselyne Akombe dramatically resigned, citing death threats, and Commission boss Wafula Chebukati also threatened to quit.

Roselyn Akombe, an election board commissioner, or member of its top panel, cited lack of cohesion among its eight members and the secretariat for her decision to leave.

She says the electoral commissioners need to be fearless and speak up because the new presidential elections scheduled on October 26 can not meet the basic expectations of credibility.

On the other hand, Odinga has vowed that there would be no elections on October 26 and called for countrywide protests on that day.

Staff had been receiving last-minute instructions to change technology and electronic transmission of results, intimidated by political stakeholders and fearing for their lives, according to Akombe.

Raila Odinga addressing NASA supporters in Mombasa.

Speaking at a campaign rally in the western town of Saboti late on Wednesday, Kenyatta said the priority was for Kenyans to go to the polls on the set date.