In Summary
  • The IEBC says logistical preparations are in place to hold the new election.

  • However, as it has not given its interpretation of what will happen if a candidate formally withdraws, anything is possible.

Two months after Kenyans lined up to vote for a president, the election is still far from over.

A dramatic series of twists and turns has seen the first result annulled and a new election scheduled that opposition leader Raila Odinga is now refusing to take part in.

Here are five questions to help untangle the political crisis that has plunged East Africa's biggest economy into uncertainty. 

  • What does Odinga want?

A free and fair election and to finally be president: two things he believes go hand-in-hand.

The 72-year-old flag-bearer for the National Super Alliance (Nasa) believes the August 8 election was rigged, causing him to lose what was widely seen as his last shot at the presidency after three previous failed efforts.

To the shock of many, he won a Supreme Court petition on September 1 to have President Uhuru Kenyatta's victory overturned.

In its ruling, the court cited "irregularities" in the counting process and mismanagement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).


On Tuesday, Odinga said the IEBC had failed to make the vital reforms he demanded ahead of a re-run on October 26, and he was thus withdrawing from the race.

He had wanted top IEBC officials sacked, and for new firms to take control of election technology and the printing of ballot papers — demands the commission said were impossible to fulfil in the 60-day period legally allowed for a new election.

Odinga believes his withdrawal forces the IEBC to start the whole process again from scratch, leaving more time for reforms.

In the meantime, his party has called for daily protests from next week to maintain the pressure for reforms.

  • What does Kenyatta want?

To remain president, which he believes will happen if the election goes ahead on October 26.

The 55-year-old son of Kenya's first president was infuriated by the invalidation of his 54 percent victory, slamming the Supreme Court judges as "crooks" and vowing to "fix" the court if re-elected.

He insists the election take place, with or without Odinga.

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