Last-minute attempt to stop vote fails after shooting of judge’s driver

Kenya’s re-run presidential election is expected to proceed tomorrow, despite a shooting, alleged intimidation of the judiciary and the danger of a “violent implosion” predicted to be a major blow to African democracy.

A last-minute petition to postpone the vote failed after the Supreme Court was unable to gather a quorum of judges to hear the case, the BBC says.

The deputy chief justice was not available after her driver was shot yesterday, an incident many Kenyans saw as intimidation of the judiciary, ABC News reports.

The shooting follows a member of the electoral commission taking refuge in New York, saying she’d received death threats, while the murder of a commission official before the original election in August remains unsolved.

“The country itself appears in danger of a violent implosion,” The Washington Post says. “Senior election officials have warned that the outcome will not be credible. That could lead to mass protests and bloodshed – not to mention a major setback for African democracy.”

Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking a second term as president, said the ballot must go ahead. However, opposition leader Raila Odinga is boycotting the re-run, saying nothing has changed since 1 September, when judges ruled the previous election was fraudulent.

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