Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Kenya Opposition chief Odinga withdraws from Oct 26 poll

KENYA: Police teargas opposition protesters as US express worry ahead of presidential poll US expresses concern over Kenya re-run election
Jeanne Townsend | 11 October, 2017, 00:07

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have vowed that the repeat Presidential election on October 26th will go on as planned despite the withdrawal of the NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka from the race.

Odinga announced he was quitting the October 26 election, telling reporters in Nairobi that he felt the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission had refused to reform.

The court then ordered the election be rerun on October 26.

However, the President and his team will likely insist that the IEBC should proceed and declare that President Uhuru Kenyatta be declared re-elected unopposed under Article 138 (1), which states that if only one candidate is nominated, then such a candidate shall be declared elected.

Uhuru will not be declared victor anytime soon.Photo:Uhuru Kenyatta/Facebook.

It was the first time a court had overturned the results of a presidential election in Africa.

Odinga also demanded independent worldwide experts to be engaged to manage the entire ICT framework of the elections with close supervision of the candidates' agents and the IEBC.

"The only election the Jubilee administration is interested in is one that it must win, even unlawfully", Odinga said.

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IEBC, according to him, acted in bad faith by choosing to retain the services of companies such as French IT firm Safran/OT Morpho and printer Al Ghurair which NASA say were culpable of bungling of the August election.

"There will be no election if those who messed with the elections are still in office", Raila said.

The nationwide demonstrations was called by Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, who also demanded that the ruling party is blocked from changing voting laws, to suit Kenyatta.

Kenyan police fired teargas and shots in the air on Monday as hundreds of demonstrators marched through the capital Nairobi to protest against proposed legal changes that would make it harder for the Supreme Court to annul an election.

"It has wasted valuable time engaging in public relations exercises meant to create the illusion of motion without any movement", Odinga said.

Odinga said he was not giving up entirely, but that his move was the only way to ensure a free and fair election.

Kenyatta termed the decision a "judicial coup".

The commissioner has tweeted that it will communicate the way forward following the new developments. It also tweeted a letter it sent on Tuesday to Odinga's opposition coalition saying that "we have taken the necessary steps to guarantee the integrity of the fresh presidential elections". He blamed them for irregularities during the August 8 vote.

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