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Kenyan President Apologizes for Friday Confusion, Reschedules Primaries

  • VOA News

FILE - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks during Jamhuri Day celebrations (Independence Day) at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi, Dec. 12, 2016. Kenyatta says his Jubilee Party will hold new primary voting April 24-25, 2017.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has apologized for the cancellation of election primaries on Friday, the result of a much higher voter turnout than had been expected.

Kenyatta said Saturday that his Jubilee Party would hold new voting on Monday and Tuesday.

The president said in a statement that primary elections do not usually inspire the level of turnout seen Friday. Complications included insufficient materials, flawed ballots and general confusion. As a result, primaries were canceled in 15 of 21 counties.

The primaries are being held in advance of a national election in August that will include the contest for the presidency.

Kenya's most recent election in 2013 was peaceful, but a decade ago, about 1,000 people died in postelection violence.

The Jubilee Party formed last year in a merger of 12 parties and was designed to consolidate support for the president. Friday's confusion was a big embarrassment for the new group.

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