Published on 01 August 2017

Kenya: is the presidential election still on track?

Former prime minister, Raila Odinga, leads the opposition coalition.

Against an electoral process rife with errors and heavily criticized by the National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition coalition led by former prime minister Raila Odinga, the polls have overcome a string of delays to still be running on schedule for August 8. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), along with the ruling Jubilee Party, blames the delays on the contractual imbroglio over the organisation of the elections. As several Indian Ocean Newsletter reports revealed, there has been much controversy surrounding the contract awarded to Safran Identity & Security to verify voters, as well as the one given to Al Ghurair to print ballot papers. Both the Kenyan opposition and the companies that lost out on the tenders have readily shown their discontent.

If the elections are postponed, this would service the head of State's interests. Uhuru Kenyatta, who is running for a second mandate, has another thorny issue to tackle. One of his key goals has always been to round off his term with the start of oil production in the country, as revealed Africa Energy Intelligence. His strategy has been spoilt by delays in the country's oil legislation and opposition from civil society to oil production, again as extensively covered by Africa Energy Intelligence. One thing is certain, if defeated Odinga will not accept the results and will take the matter to court.

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