, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 23 – Campaigns for Thursday’s fresh presidential election come to an end midnight on Monday, being 48 hours to Election Day.
All the eight presidential candidates bidding for the presidency are expected to close their campaigns according to a gazette notice issued by Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati on September 29.
The close came hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee Party) and his running mate, Deputy President William Ruto, made over a dozen stops in Nairobi on Monday where they urged residents to vote for them on October 26.
The duo also met Chebukati at the Executive Office of the President in Harambee House where they urged IEBC to ensure that the repeat election is done within timelines set by the Constitution and ordered by the Supreme Court when it annulled President Kenyatta’s re-election in the August 8 General Election.
“We made clear that we have no demands or conditions on this subject. We have made funds available for the IEBC to do its job. Now they really should deliver,” the President said following the meeting at Harambee House.
“We only insist that elections be held on October 26, that’s the time line set by the IEBC in terms of conditions set in the annulment of the August 8 elections,” he added.
Chebukati held a similar meeting with National Super Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga on Thursday last week during which meeting he reaffirmed his intention to boycott the election if his concerns on the conduct of the repeat poll are not conclusively addressed.
Speaking to the press after meeting Chebukati, Odinga said the recent resignation of Commissioner Roselyn Akombe was a confirmation of the alliance’s fears that the poll agency was not ready to conduct credible elections.
He further cited Chebukati’s address to the nation on Wednesday which Odinga said painted a picture of a commission ill-prepared to manage the October 26 poll.
“The revelations which have come from Chebukati and madam Akombe have basically confirmed our reasons for pulling out of this race. It is now clear that a conducive environment does not exist for a free and fair electoral process,” Odinga remarked.
“We have said that if proper consultations are done and reforms are carried out and our fears are addressed then we will reconsider our withdrawal,” the NASA chief added flanked by his campaign secretariat Chairperson Musalia Mudavadi.
On Sunday, the United Nations and the African Union expressed their organizations’ commitment to assist Kenya in ensuring a credible and transparent process while warning political actors to avoid inciting their supporters.
Similar calls were made by foreign envoys led by US Ambassador Robert Godec on Monday.
“Attacks on IEBC must stop, no one is obliged to stand for office or to vote if they don’t wish to,” Ambassador Godec stated in a statement backed by twenty foreign envoys.
“No one should use violence or intimidation to disrupt the right of others to vote or to participate in a poll. Doing so is profoundly undemocratic and leaders must tell their supporters to refrain from such acts.”