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Kenya election: Last-minute court bid to block poll



Kenya's Supreme Court will hold a last-minute hearing to decide whether the re-run of the presidential election can go ahead.

Chief Justice David Maraga said the 8 August election had not been "conducted in accordance with the constitution" and declared it "invalid, null and void".

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the last-minute petition, which questions whether the electoral commission and its chairman will be able to conduct a free and fair election on Thursday.

The main opposition candidate Raila Odinga is boycotting what he calls a "sham election... which will not represent the will of the people".

The petitioners are asking the court to clarify its 2013 interpretation of the constitution - that if a candidate drops out, the whole months-long process should begin again, rather than simply holding a re-run.
That's the case Raila Odinga's lawyers cite in connection with his decision to boycott the poll.
According to the constitution the vote must be held before 1 November.
But last week electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati said "it's difficult to guarantee a free, fair and credible election". This leads to the question: Can the court allow the re-run to go ahead?
Another question is around how a potential constitutional crisis would be handled if the election is not held within the timeframe.
Wednesday has been unexpectedly declared a public holiday, but the Supreme Court says that will not affect its business.

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