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The Latest: Kenyans stock up at supermarkets before polls

By The Associated Press
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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Latest on Kenya's election (all times local):

2:05 p.m.

Long lines form in Kenyan supermarkets as people stock up on supplies ahead of the tension-filled repeat presidential elections to be held Thursday.

Uncertainty has stalked the fresh presidential elections ordered by the Supreme Court when it nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's August re-election, citing irregularities and illegalities and the refusal by the electoral commission to allow scrutiny of its servers.

Nairobi resident Cosmas Butunyi said there are long lines of Kenyans who are panic shopping. "I had gone to buy milk for the week and I found long lines so I also decided to stock up," Butunyi said.

___

12:25 p.m.

A Kenyan judge has ruled that the appointments of electoral agents at the constituency level for the Thursday's repeat presidential election are illegal, throwing more uncertainty on the controversial elections.

Judge George Odunga ruled Wednesday that the electoral commission did not follow the law when appointing constituency returning officers and their deputies. Returning officers manage the polling centers at the constituency level and are responsible for the transmission of results to the national tallying centers.

Despite this ruling, the electoral commission announced that the repeat elections will go ahead as planned Thursday with the appointed returning officers and deputies.

Last month the Supreme Court nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's August re-election, citing irregularities and illegalities in the vote. Opposition leader Raila Odinga had challenged the results claiming hackers had infiltrated the electoral commission's computer system and had manipulated the vote. Odinga is boycotting the repeat elections, saying the electoral commission has not implemented adequate reforms to guarantee credible elections.

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12:10 p.m.

Kenya's electoral commission announced that the repeat presidential elections will go ahead as planned on Thursday. The tweet from the commission said Kenyan electoral officials "will conduct the fresh presidential election 26th October 2017."

The announcement comes amid rising tensions. Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga is boycotting the elections, saying they will not be free and fair. The electoral commission chairman has said that he cannot guarantee elections that are credible and a member of the electoral board resigned and left the country, saying she feared for her safety.

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11:50 a.m.

Kenya police say they will not allow the opposition National Super Alliance to hold its final rally at the capital's Freedom Park ahead of their boycott of the repeat presidential elections Thursday.

Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome said Wednesday the opposition did not have authorization from the county government to use the park. Opposition leader Raila Odinga was to speak to his supporters at the park. He has said he will not participate in the fresh election and has urged supporters not to vote, saying the electoral commission has not implemented enough reforms to ensure a credible vote.

The police ban came as the Supreme Court said it cannot hear an application to delay the vote because it did not have a quorum of judges.

Last month the Supreme Court made a surprise decision to nullify President Uhuru Kenyatta's August re-election, citing illegalities and irregularities in the vote. The court ordered a fresh election. Opposition and human rights activists claim Kenyatta is using the police force to crush dissent and report that 67 opposition supporters have been killed. Kenyatta insists the vote must be held Thursday because the country's economy is suffering.

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11:15 a.m.

The chief justice of Kenya's Supreme Court says the court cannot hear a last-minute petition to postpone Thursday's presidential election because it does not have a quorum of judges.

Chief Justice David Maraga appeared alone in the court Wednesday morning and said only he and one other judge had been able to attend the hearing.

The announcement appears to open the way to Thursday's vote proceeding.

The petition filed by three Kenyans including a human rights activist sought to postpone the repeat presidential election and argued that not enough has been done to ensure the process is free, fair and credible.

___

10:30 a.m.

Kenya's Supreme Court is set to hear a petition that seeks to postpone Thursday's repeat presidential election and argues that not enough has been done to ensure the process is free, fair and credible.

The court shocked Kenya last month when it nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election in August, citing irregularities and illegalities and the electoral commission's unwillingness to let court-appointed technicians scrutinize its servers. Opposition leader Raila Odinga had challenged Kenyatta's victory, claiming hackers had infiltrated the servers and manipulated the vote.

Odinga has said he will not participate in the new election because the electoral commission has not been reformed. Kenyatta has insisted the vote continue.

Hours before Wednesday's hearing, the driver of the deputy chief justice was shot in what many saw as intimidation of the judiciary.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Supreme Court News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP World News
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