JOHANNESBURG, October 2 – A number of foreign envoys in Kenya have threatened travel bans on politicians who are perceived to be agitating for unrest and trying to impede preparations for the October 26 repeat elections, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported on Monday.
Although sources in both the ruling Jubilee Party and the opposition Nasa party failed to provide details of the warning, or which specific countries the warning was coming from, Britain and the United States were among two of the countries reported to be pushing for the two sides to reach a compromise in the election stand-off.
The August 8 elections were annulled by the Kenya’s Supreme Court on the basis of unverified results, fuelling fears of further unrest in the country which in the past has claimed many lives.
As part of the effort to push the two sides into negotiations, the diplomats have urged both parties to drop some of their demands.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga met with a number of the diplomats who warned of possible travel bans. During the meeting a number of electoral reform measures were discussed.
Odinga had stated previously that his party would not take part in the October 26 elections unless there was reform
of the electoral commission.
Nasa has demanded the sacking of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials implicated in the bungled August elections.
Odina has also threatened mass protests across the country, starting Monday, unless his party’s demands are met.
However, the threats of demonstrations have been dismissed by the Kenya’s State House on the basis that there are already working mechanisms in place to ensure electoral reform as outlined in the Supreme Court ruling.
These include a proposed raft of amendments to the electoral laws in a contentious bill that seeks to reduce the powers of the IEBC chairman as well as entrench the use of the manual vote transmission system, among other recommendations.
– African News Agency (ANA)