The lives of some top officials with Kenya’s electoral commission are under “serious threat” from the government ahead of the new presidential election next month, opposition leader Raila Odinga claimed Friday.
Odinga, who successfully challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election in court, told reporters that some commission officials have received “very threatening emails” and their security has been withdrawn.
“We are actually in a very dangerous situation in this country,” Odinga said. He also urged Kenyatta to resign.
Kenya’s government did not comment on Odinga’s claims.
The electoral commission is under pressure by the opposition to reform after the Supreme Court nullified Kenyatta’s re-election and cited irregularities in last month’s vote. Odinga had gone to court claiming vote-rigging.
The new election is set for Oct. 17. Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati has appointed a special team to oversee the new vote, excluding six top officials the opposition has accused of electoral fraud
Kenyatta has said the electoral commission should not be changed and has warned the judiciary not to interfere.
The president on Friday demanded that the electoral commission do its job and stop “monkeying around.”
Speaking during a campaign rally, Kenyatta said his government won’t let Kenya’s economy be ruined by uncertainty. The stock market of East Africa’s commercial hub has lost millions of dollars since the Supreme Court’s ruling a week ago, he said.
“Independent institutions, you must recognize that as much as we respect you we cannot stand by and watch you dilly-dally and continue to destroy our economy and job opportunities for young people,” he said.