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Kenyan Election Official Is Killed on Eve of Vote

The incidents stirred memories of violence a decade ago, when the fiercely contested 2007 elections provoked clashes between ethnic groups. At least 1,200 people died and more than 600,000 were displaced. The 2013 elections were more peaceful, but hundreds of people died in clashes and voting machines experienced widespread malfunctions.

Kenyans will vote next week in six contests including a tight presidential election pitting President Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent and leader of the Jubilee coalition, against Raila Odinga, who leads the National Super Alliance, an umbrella opposition group. Neither candidate commands more than 50 percent in recent polls.

As Election Day nears, Mr. Odinga, who is running for a fourth time and says he was robbed of victory in the last two contests, is warning his supporters that this year could be the same. Mr. Odinga released a document last week that he said showed that the armed forces were preparing a coup if he and his party won. Mr. Kenyatta’s party has refuted those claims.

Justin Willis, a professor of history and an expert on Kenyan politics at Durham University in England, said the killing of Mr. Musando would “undoubtedly raise tensions,” which are already running high.

“It will make people more suspicious,” he said. “And, given that the anxiety over the election focuses on technology and its misuse, this gruesome event will greatly increase anxiety.”

Source: NYT > World

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