IMPACT – MEDIUM

Office closures and political demonstrations are expected to cause immigration and travel delays as Kenya prepares for this week’s presidential election.

Key points:

  • Kenya is poised to hold a presidential election Thursday, its second this year after the country’s Supreme Court invalidated the results of the first. Government offices are expected to be closed or operate in a limited capacity Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Processing delays should be expected.
  • Protesters have taken to the streets in Nairobi as opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for his supporters to boycott the election, saying the vote will not be free and fair.
  • The demonstrations may cause travel delays and, possibly, security concerns for foreign nationals living in Kenya. The U.S. State Department said there is no evidence that Americans are being targeted, but urged Americans in Kenya to “exercise caution and remain abreast of the security situation throughout the electoral period.” The U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office warned of high political tensions and urged British nationals to “monitor local and international media and avoid demonstrations.”

BAL Analysis: Disruptions in immigration services and travel should be expected before and after Thursday’s election. In Kenya’s first election this year, Kenya saw demonstrations before and after the vote, further delaying services.