Elec­tion will go ahead as planned — Keny­atta

The Witness - - NEWS -

NAIROBI — Kenyan op­po­si­tion leader Raila Odinga said yes­ter­day he would not stand in a court­ordered re­run of Au­gust’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion that is sched­uled for Oc­to­ber 26, say­ing the polls would not be free or fair.

Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta said the elec­tion would pro­ceed as planned, de­spite the with­drawal of his only chal­lenger.

Both men’s an­nounce­ments in­def­i­nitely pro­long nearly three months of po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty that has wor­ried cit­i­zens and blunted growth in Kenya. An ally of Odinga called for na­tion­wide protests from to­day, rais­ing the prospect of vi­o­lent con­fronta­tions be­tween po­lice and protesters. But for now there was lit­tle sign that the demon­stra­tions could boil over into eth­nic clashes. Protests and eth­nic vi­o­lence killed 1 200 peo­ple after a dis­puted 2007 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Odinga re­peated pre­vi­ous crit­i­cism of the elec­tion board, called the In­de­pen­dent Elec­toral and Bound­aries Com­mis­sion (IEBC), for not re­plac­ing some of­fi­cials, who he blamed for ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the Au­gust poll.

“Fol­low­ing the with­drawal of the Nasa pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, the com­mis­sion and the le­gal team are meet­ing and will com­mu­ni­cate way for­ward,” the IEBC said on Twit­ter after Odinga spoke.

“There is no in­ten­tion on the part of the IEBC to un­der­take any changes to its op­er­a­tions and parts of the per­son­nel to en­sure that the il­le­gal­i­ties and ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties that led to the in­val­i­da­tion of eighth of Au­gust do not hap­pen again,” Odinga told a news conference in Nairobi. — Reuters.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Kenyan op­po­si­tion leader Raila Odinga, the pres­i­den­tial can­di­date of the Na­tional Su­per Al­liance coali­tion, speaks dur­ing a news conference where he an­nounced that he would not stand in a re­run of Au­gust’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion that is sched­uled for Oc­to­ber 26.

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