US regrets Raila move to exit poll
A state department official said yesterday that the US respects but regrets Nasa leader Raila Odinga’s announced intention to withdraw from the scheduled October 26 presidential election.
Responding to a Nation query, the official also said Mr Odinga was welcome to visit the US contrary to some media reports early in the week that he had been denied a visa to the US.
That claim was attributed in reports to State House director of digital communications Dennis Itumbi.
Asked whether Mr Odinga had been blocked from visiting, the state department official said, “It is our understanding that nothing prevents Raila Odinga from getting on a plane and flying to the United States.”
Mr Odinga is in London, where he is expected to give an address today at Chatham House, Royal Institute of International Affairs.
In its email message to the Nation, the state department reiterated that the US does “not back any party or candidate in Kenya. We remain committed to supporting a free, fair and credible election that is consistent with Kenya’s Constitution, current laws, and institutions.”