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Kenya election board CEO goes on leave ahead of poll

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People burn the fake coffin of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) CEO, Ezra Chiloba, during a demonstration on October 16, 2017 in Kisumu, to demand the removal of officials from the national election oversight body, IEBC, allegedly implicated in the manipulation of the votes tally during the last August 8, presidential elections. A young protester was shot dead in western Kenya on October 16, 2017 as hundreds of opposition supporters again took to the streets demanding reforms ahead of a presidential election, witnesses told AFP. Police teargassed a large crowd of protesters in the opposition stronghold of Kisumu, who set tyres alight, blocked roads and pelted policemen with rocks as they kicked off daily protests just 10 days ahead of the election. / AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA

Ezra Chiloba, Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said on Friday he was taking three weeks of leave.

Opposition demanded that Chiloba must be fired before a repeat presidential election scheduled for Oct. 26,

The first presidential vote in August, which gave victory to Kenyatta, was annulled because of procedural irregularities.

Chiloba said he had taken a personal decision to take leave in light of the opposition’s demands, without giving more details.

He said all arrangements were in place for the election, as ordered by the Supreme Court.

“This is the first time I‘m taking leave since my son was born. He turns two years (old) in two weeks’ time,” he told Reuters.

The court annulled the first election, held in August and in which incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner, over procedural irregularities.

The opposition, led by Raila Odinga, has said it will boycott the re-run unless several demands, including the sacking of Chiloba, are met.

Odinga met the chairman of the IEBC board, Wafula Chebukati, on Thursday and later told reporters that if there were serious consultations and serious reforms, the opposition could review its boycott.

The board has said the election will go ahead and Kenyatta, has insisted the vote must be held.

On Thursday, the president snubbed an invitation to meet Chebukati, saying he would instead spend the time campaigning.


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