Election will go ahead as planned — Kenyatta
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.
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.