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Johannesburg – As Kenya prepares for Thursday’s controversial election rerun, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has threatened unspecified sanctions against leaders who may use unconstitutional means to ascend to power, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported on Wednesday.

The threat of possible sanctions came as both IGAD, and the African Union (AU), called for peace ahead of the polls at AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa after meeting with the Council of Kenya Professionals (CKP) who were presenting a petition urging the organisation to initiate sanctions.

Thomas Kwesi Quartey, AU Commission Deputy Chairperson, called for Kenyans who wanted to vote to be allowed to do so.

“No Kenyan should allow himself to be intimidated or frightened. I think Kenyans should go out en masse and vote peacefully and vote wisely because it is in that vote that their sovereignty resides,” said Qaurtey.  

“It is that vote that is an expression of Kenyan sovereignty and Kenyan leadership in Africa.”

Quartey’s call came following threats by opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga for an election boycott and Kenya’s Supreme Court convening on Wednesday morning to hear an urgent last-minute petition for the polls to be postponed.

Petitioners argued that a free and credible election under the current circumstances was not feasible as there had been insufficient electoral reform following the annulment of the August elections on the grounds of procedural irregularities.  

But CKP lawyers Ababu Namwamba, Danson Mungatana, and the former Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro presented the sanctions petition asking IGAD to take action, as well as initiate a travel ban on Odinga, warning that Kenya could slide into anarchy following the demonstrations the NASA leader has called for.

Quartey responded: “As far as we see, the opposition went to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court made an adjudication, made a decision and instructed the electoral commission to have election within 60 days." 

“That is being done. The electoral commission assures the whole world that all the procedures are up to scratch and they are ready to hold transparent elections,” added Quartey after meeting the CKP team led by Namwamba.