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Kenya Cancels Four Local Polls Before Tuesday Election

FILE: Police officers inspect the first batch of ballot papers to be used in the upcoming general election after they arrived at the airport in Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, July 7, 2022. Kenya is due to hold the closely contested election on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Kenya's election commission on Monday cancelled four local polls and announced the arrest of six officials on the eve of a high-stakes presidential vote, raising alarm after a campaign dominated by rigging fears.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said gubernatorial polls in the counties of Mombasa and Kakamega as well as elections for MP in the Kachiliba and Pokot South constituencies would be postponed until further notice, due to erroneous ballot papers.

The cancellations could affect turnout if citizens decide not to show up at polling stations to cast their ballot for the five other positions still in the running. Together, Mombasa and Kakamega account for some 1.5 million registered voters.

Chebukati also said six IEBC officials were arrested for allegedly meeting with candidates with a view to influencing election outcomes.

"The commission... will not hesitate to take stern action against any official found to be in breach of the code of conduct and election offences act," he said, dismissing rigging fears and urging citizens to vote.

"Let us collectively rise up and show the world that Kenya is a vibrant democracy."