Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga quits election re-run

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga quits election re-run
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga (C), the presidential candidate of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition during a news conference on Tuesday 10, October 2017, he announced that he would not stand in a court-ordered re-run of August's presidential election that is scheduled for October 26 in Nairobi, Kenya. Courtesy Photo.

Kenya’s opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) has withdrawn from the October 26 presidential election re-run.

NASA presidential candidate, veteran politician Raila Odinga announced today that he and his running mate, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, will not take part in the repeat election, occasioned by the September 1st Supreme Court ruling that nullified the election.

“After deliberating on our position in respect of the upcoming election, considering the interests of the people of Kenya, the region and the world at large, we believe that all will be best served by NASA vacating its presidential candidature in the election scheduled for 26 October 2017,” said Odinga.

Odinga said NASA has been calling for a free and fair election in accordance to the Constitution.

He explained that NASA leaders came to the conclusion that there is no intention from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to guard against “the irregularities and illegalities” witnessed in the August 8 elections.

Odinga, who has been a presidential candidate on four occasions, accused IEBC stalling any changes to its operations and personnel that led to the invalidation of the elections.

“All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one,” he said.

He accused President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto planning to use the Jubilee party majority in the National Assembly and Senate “to overthrow our new constitutional order and re-install the old order.”

On September 1st, a six-judge bench under the leadership of Chief Justice David Maraga nullified the presidential election saying that that the outcome of the vote was invalid, null and void” and that President Kenyatta was not duly elected. Two of the six judges on the panel, however, disagreed with the verdict, while a seventh judge was in hospital and so he played no significant role in the petition.

IEBC had on August 10 declared President Kenyatta winner of the August 8 elections with 54.27% against Odinga’s 44.74% of the total votes cast. According to figures released by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, the incumbent garnered 8,203,290 votes while Odinga managed 6,762,224 votes.

But Odinga challenged the outcome of the elections, accusing IEBC of organising what he called a shambolic election “in a manner that violated constitutional and legal provisions.”

In fact, he and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka rejected the results even before they were announced on August 10. They accused the commission of imposing on Kenyans what they called computer-generated leaders.