World News

Kenya election set to go ahead after Supreme Court no-show

Posted October 24, 2017 11:58 p.m. EDT

— Kenya's controversial presidential election appears set to go ahead as planned on Thursday after the Supreme Court proved unable to rule on a challenge because not enough justices showed up for a session on Wednesday.

Chief Justice David Maraga announced in televised remarks that the hearing on an emergency challenge to the vote could not proceed because only two Supreme Court justices were available.

Last month, the Supreme Court annulled the August 8 election following accusations of irregularities by the opposition, paving the way for a new vote scheduled this week. That vote has suffered a series of setbacks, including the withdrawal of the main opposition candidate, Raila Odinga.

Activists filed a petition Tuesday alleging that Kenya's electoral commission was not in a position to conduct a free and fair election. The petition said a majority of voters would not be part of the process because they were sitting out the election in line with the opposition's call.

Odinga has urged his supporters not to have anything to do with the election unless his demands are met, including the firing of some electoral commission officials.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner in the August vote with 54% of the vote against Odinga, and has maintained that Thursday's election will be held despite concerns about its credibility. He called the Supreme Court justices who nullified his election "crooks."

Kenya remains on edge as campaigning has grown more heated and the candidates more defiant before the vote. Opposition supporters have clashed with police, and the government has banned demonstrations in certain areas.