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Kenyan opposition candidate approved for poll after challenger withdraws

12 October 2017

The law sets out that if a candidate withdraws from a repeat presidential election in future, the other would win automatically.

National Super Alliance Presidential candidate Raila Odinga will be on the October 26 presidential ballot paper despite announcing on Tuesday that he had withdrawn from the repeat poll, the electoral commission has stated.

According to Magaya, the requirement for one to sign Form 24A does not apply in the context of the election at hand.

Odinga says he is not giving up on standing entirely, but that withdrawing now is necessary to ensure a free and fair election.

Kenya's Supreme Court last month annulled an apparent victory by incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta in August polls, citing widespread counting irregularities and mismanagement by election officials, calling for a re-run within 60 days. "We have come to the conclusion that there is no intention on the part of [election officials] to undertake any changes to its operations and personnel".

In fact, including a new candidate legitimates the results of the contest, despite the boycott by Odinga, who supported his abstention with accusations of partiality favoring Kenyatta. It is unclear if Aukot intends to continue his presidential run.

Protests have been taking place nearly daily since the decision in a country that still has grim memories of post-election violence, with a disputed 2007 poll prompted politically motivated tribal clashes that left some 1,100 dead.

In Nairobi police briefly used tear gas to disperse protesters who threw stones at passing cars. Kenya's 2013 presidential vote was relatively peaceful, but over 1,100 died in protests following the vote in 2007.

The controversy added another element of uncertainty to Kenya's economy, which is slowing after a drought.

Kenyan opposition candidate approved for poll after challenger withdraws