A number of publications from the United States and United Kingdom are calling on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to call off the repeat presidential election set for Thursday.
In hard-hitting editorials, the outlets have also called on the two main presidential candidates to drop their hard-line stances on the fresh poll.
On Tuesday, US-based business magazine Bloomberg in an editorial titled "Kenya’s No-win Election" advised electoral commission to ask the Supreme Court to postpone the election for 30 to 45 to allow proper preparations.
“If Kenya goes ahead with its presidential vote this week, it will be making a historic mistake – one that threatens unrest and undermines a landmark court decision affirming the importance of transparent, free and fair elections,” Bloomberg said in the editorial.
In a similar editorial on Monday, London-based Financial Times asked IEBC to call off the repeat poll to avert the re-occurrence of 2007/08 post election violence witnessed in Kenya.
“Rather than accepting that risk, Kenya’s Western allies should be defending the case for a fair procedure and pledging help. International organisations, possibly the UN, should consider offering to play a role in running the election,” the Financial Times said.
It added: “Whatever happens will require a shake-up in personnel at the IEBC, which by all accounts has been undermined by political partisanship, intimidation and other skullduggery.”
“The electoral commission should admit that it is not yet in a position to hold a new vote . . . national interest. The country will more easily endure a short period of continued uncertainty than it will the outcome of another flawed election,” it said.
On October 23rd, The Washington Post in an editorial castigated President Uhuru's insistence that the fresh election must be held without necessary reforms.
“Polls as well as the August vote suggest that Mr Kenyatta would defeat Mr Odinga in a free and fair election. That makes the President’s insistence on going forward with the vote on Thursday, instead of delaying it and encouraging reforms by the election commission, self-defeating,” the Post said in the editorial.
“At best a nominally re-elected Mr Kenyatta will be left with a weakened domestic mandate and a lack of international credibility. Mrs Odinga, for his part, has never appeared willing to accept defeat, fair or otherwise, without a fight.”
The outlet said "Odinga’s tactics, and the government’s harsh response, risked a conflict that Kenya cannot afford."
In an opinion of New York Review of Books titled "Who’s Cheating Kenyan Voters?" , author Helen Epstein criticized the US, arguing that it is supporting the conduction of the fresh poll for its financial interests, rather than its credibility.
“To dispel any suspicion that it is quietly intervening in Kenyan politics in a similar, if subtle, way now, the US must do all it can to ensure that Kenyans get the ‘free, fair, and credible election’ Washington says it wants,” Ms Epstein says in the October 23 piece.