There has been heightened anxiety ahead of Kenya’s most consequential General Elections.
Get it wrong and you'll be an international outcast-Kenya warned ahead of polls
Kenya has been put on the spotlight by the international community as Election Day draws nigh
And there is every reason to be concerned with the observers from across the world keeping an eye on developments as they unfold.
The outcome of the polls may be a defining moment for the country’s relations with the international community, according to analysts in the UK press.
If the elections pass off peacefully, Kenya will once again be welcomed with open arms into the international community, with Britain in particular being anxious to resume good relations with Nairobi as it prepares to enter a post-Brexit world.
However, should there be violence and election fraud, then Kenya could once again become an international pariah shunned on the world stage with an inevitable economic cost to boot.
A number of commentators are predicting violence with The Independent newspaper stating there remains “deep-seated hatred over unresolved injustices.”
“Experts say that if Kenya's injustices are not addressed, it is a matter of when, not if, violence will occur again…Ensuring justice for past violations and addressing their root causes is imperative in establishing a society that abides by the rule of law," states the newspaper.
The killing of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ICT manager Chris Msando was an extremely concerning development with human rights watch groups calling for immediate investigation into his brutal murder.
Rashid Abdi, a regional analyst at the International Crisis Group, said the killing of “someone who was involved in a critical component of the elections, the electronic infrastructure” would “definitely raise suspicions and undermine public confidence in the outcome” of the poll.
The United States and the United Kingdom said they expressed concern over Msando’s murder whilst at the same time offering assistance into the investigation.
Kenyans will vote on August 8 in six contests including a tight presidential election pitting President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee coalition against Raila Odinga, who leads the National Super Alliance (NASA).
Hundreds of media representatives and 5,000 international observers are expected to be monitoring and covering next week's poll.
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