President Uhuru Kenyatta snubbed a crisis meeting called by the chairman of the election board for Thursday, saying he would instead spend the day campaigning for the rerun.

The first presidential vote in August, which gave victory to Uhuru, was annulled because of procedural irregularities.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati delivered a stark message to political leaders on Wednesday, saying it was hard to guarantee a credible vote on October 26, and demanding they meet for talks.

The board, known as the IEBC, set the meeting for 1130 GMT in Nairobi but then said it had been postponed to an unspecified date and time.

More on this: It’s hard to guarantee free election, IEBC won’t tolerate threats – Chebukati

Speaking at a campaign rally in the western town of Saboti late on Wednesday, Uhuru said the priority was for Kenyans to go to the polls on the set date.

“We are not interested in telling the IEBC what to do. We want them to prepare so Kenyans can vote on the 26th,” he said.

Uhuru and Deputy President William Ruto announced via Twitter that they will campaign on Thursday in Bungoma, Nandi and Vihiga counties.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga is boycotting the rerun because of a lack of reform at the IEBC.

However, Raila, whose call for mass protests on election day has sparked fears a political and constitutional crisis could spill over into violence, indicated he was open to talks.

“We are open to dialogue for cleaning of the commission,” he told supporters at Kamukunji grounds in Nairobi.

Read: Raila: I can talk to Uhuru, but not on power sharing

Also read: ‘Bullets, teargas won’t stop us’: Raila calls mega demos on October 26

The Supreme Court nullified Uhuru’s victory in the August 8 vote and ordered a repeat election in 60 days.

The stalemate has brought huge uncertainty to Kenya, a solid Western ally and the richest economy in the region. The mess deepened last week after Raila pulled out of the race citing lack of reforms at the electoral board.

He said his withdrawal should force the commission to start a fresh 90-day electoral cycle, including fresh candidate nominations. The election board says the vote will go ahead.

Chebukati’s call for a meeting with the candidates followed the flight of one IEBC commissioner to New York. Roselyn Akombe said she had fled due to threats and said the planned election would amount to a mockery of democracy. 

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