Kenyan election official resigns, shares doubt on upcoming presidential vote

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  Oct. 18, 2017 at 10:08 AM
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Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Roselyn Akombe, a member of Kenya's election commission, cast doubt on the credibility of her country's upcoming presidential election and said death threats forced her to flee to the United States.

She resigned from her position on the board of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Wednesday, eight days before Kenya holds its second presidential election in less than three months. The Kenyan Supreme Court annulled the results of an August vote but opposition leader Raila Odinga pulled out of the second vote, scheduled for Oct. 26, last week. Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to be re-elected.

In a resignation statement, Akombe said that as a commission member, she could not guarantee a credible election when "commissioners and staff are intimidated by political actors and protesters and fear for their lives."

Wafula Chebukati, commission chairman, said he regretted Akombe's decision and warned the country's political leaders not to interfere with the election process.

In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, Akombe cited the murder of commission IT chief Chris Msando, prior to the August vote.

"I have never felt the kind of fear that I felt in my own country," she said, adding that intimidation and anonymous death threats are putting the commission "under siege."

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