Kenya parliament passes controversial election law amendment

Kenyans pray during a rally calling for peace ahead of Kenya's August 8 election in Nairobi, Kenya. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
Kenyans pray during a rally calling for peace ahead of Kenya’s August 8 election in Nairobi, Kenya. REUTERS

The Kenyan parliament has passed an amendment to the country’s election laws, saying that if one candidate withdraws from a repeat presidential election, the other one would automatically win.

The amendment has been heavily criticized by the opposition, whose legislators boycotted the vote.

The law must now be signed by the president.

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew on Tuesday from a court-ordered re-run of the presidential election due on Oct. 26, saying the vote would not be free or fair and leaving President Uhuru Kenyatta as the only candidate.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta (front) and his Deputy William Ruto deliver a statement to members of the media at the State House in Nairobi, Kenya September 21, 2017. REUTERS/

Kenyatta said the election would proceed as planned, promising to get more votes than he did in August and saying his party had no time for “empty rhetoric and divisive politics”.

The election board said on Twitter it was meeting and would communicate the way forward.

But the announcements could further prolong nearly three months of political uncertainty that has worried citizens.

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