A top official at Kenya’s electoral commission has taken leave and will not take part in running next week’s re-run election.
Ezra Chiloba, who is the CEO of the commission, took a “personal decision to be away in order to build confidence in stakeholders” who had complained about commission’s officials, privately owned Daily Nation reports.
Mr Chiloba has been at the centre of a storm for months with opposition politicians alleging that he is allied with the governing Jubilee Party and blaming him for bungling the August election.
The push for his resignation has been among a series of demands the opposition coalition Nasa has said is necessary before a fresh election is held.
They say Mr Chiloba should be held responsible for the “illegalities and irregularities” that the Supreme Court found in the conduct of the 8 August election.
However, Mr Chiloba has refused to bow to calls to leave the commission telling theBBC’s Kenya Election Watch podcast earlier this week that the Supreme Court did not find any of the electoral officials culpable.
The chairman of the commission, Wafula Chebukati, told a media briefing on Wednesday that he wanted officials – who had been mentioned as having had a role in the failures that beset the commission’s running of the election – to resign.
Mr Chebukati had been speaking hours after commissioner, Roselyn Akombe, announced her resignation after fleeing the country citing threats to her life and a difficult working environment at the commission.
The chairman said he wanted a special team to manage the election.
But Mr Chiloba’s stepping aside is unlikely to assuage the opposition coalition Nasa to take part in the 26 October election because it is less than a week till the vote and their candidate Raila Odinga has already withdrawn from the race.