Kenya is preparing for its second attempt at elections this year. The first election was won by the incumbent, President Kenyatta. When the elections ended, the opposition, Ralia Odinga, called for a re-election due to corruption. He succeeded in getting a redo, but has recently resigned from the presidential race. He believes that the corruption is far gone for the re-election to be any different. Because of his statement, there have been protests and riots. The catholic leadership in Kenya is calling on its citizens to remain calm in the face of the violence that has been breaking out in several parts of the country.
2017-10-17 Kenya (Crux) Kenyan Catholic bishops have urged the citizens to guard the country’s peace, as a prolonged election standoff took its toll on the economy and the social conditions of ordinary people.
The bishops said the matter is grave, while highlighting growing anxiety among the people and increased polarization along political and ethnic lines.
“God has given us only one country, our nation Kenya, and it is upon every Kenyan to stand firm and say no to everything that will take away from the peace,” the bishops said in an Oct. 12 statement signed by Bishop Philip Anyolo, chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
“If the election goes on as scheduled, we call upon Kenyans to turn out and exercise their democratic right peacefully,” said Anyolo. “If for any reason the election is rescheduled, we call on Kenyans to remain calm and peaceful.”
The crisis started Sept. 1, when the Supreme Court nullified the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta over irregularities and illegalities. The court ordered a repeat election in 60 days, but political positions have hardened, even as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission planned to conduct the repeat polls Oct. 26.
On Oct. 10, the crisis appeared to deepen after Raila Odinga, the National Super Alliance coalition leader, withdrew from the repeat polls. Announcing the boycott, Odinga said the IEBC had failed to meet the demands he had presented to the officials’ “irreducible minimums.”