Kenya’s Raila Odinga Withdraws from Presidential Election Rerun

Kenya’s biggest Opposition leader Raila Odinga has surprised many after his announcement prior to new supreme court-ordered presidential voting against Kenyatta.

Raila Odinga has come out and said he will not participate in the fresh presidential election ordered by the country’s supreme court after he challenged the original result hence ordering a re election for the President of Kenya breaking the African Election history.

His decision to withdraw, which he said was prompted by no prospect of a credible election, leaves the re-run, set for 26 October, in disarray.

At a press conference on Tuesday 10th October 2017, Odinga said: “We have come to the conclusion that there is no intention on the part of the IEBC [electoral commission] to undertake any changes to its operations and personnel to ensure that the illegalities and irregularities that led to the invalidation of 8 August, 2008 do not happen again. All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one.”

The 72 yesr old Raila said he had taken the decision in “the interests of the people of Kenya, the region and the world at large”. He called on people to protest on Wednesday, using the slogan “no reform, no elections”.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was originally declared the winner of the August poll with 54% of the vote.

Election observers and western officials had called on Odinga to accept defeat, saying they had found no evidence of “centralised manipulation”. But Odinga, who who had been defeated in two previous runs for president, took the case to Kenya’s highest court and judges voted 4-2 in his favor last month.

Sean Musa Carter

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