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Kenyan Election Chief Takes Leave


Chief Electoral Officer of Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Ezra Chiloba speaks during a news conference in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 11, 2017.

The chief executive of Kenya’s election board, who the opposition has demanded must be fired before a repeat presidential election scheduled for Oct. 26, said Friday he was taking three weeks of leave.

Ezra Chiloba said he had taken a personal decision to take leave in light of the opposition’s demands, without giving more details. He said all arrangements were in place for the election, as ordered by the Supreme Court.

“This is the first time I’m taking leave since my son was born. He turns two years (old) in two weeks’ time,” he told Reuters.

The court annulled the first election, held in August and in which incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner, over procedural irregularities.

The opposition, led by Raila Odinga, has said it will boycott the re-run unless several demands, including the sacking of Chiloba, are met.

Odinga met the chairman of the election board, Wafula Chebukati, on Thursday and later told reporters that if there were serious consultations and serious reforms, the opposition could review its boycott.

The board has said the election will go ahead, and Kenyatta has insisted the vote must be held. On Thursday, the president snubbed an invitation to meet Chebukati, saying he would instead spend the time campaigning.

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