The Opposition Leader Odinga Leaves Re-Election

Mon 23 October 2017 08:49 GMT | 12:49 Local Time

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The leader of Kenyan opposition Raila Odinga has announced that he had quitted October's election re-run.

According to Mr. Odinga, his withdrawal must provide the electoral commission with enough time to set up all the necessary reforms that must deliver a more convincing election.

Earlier, after finding irregularities, the Supreme Court canceled the official result of 8 August poll, which declared Uhuru Kenyatta, the winner. Mr. Kenyatta, however, said he was ready to proceed with the new vote as intended.

According to the electoral commission results, Kenyatta won the August election by 54% of the total amount to Odinga's 45%. William Ruto, Kenya's vice-president, called on the commission to announce Kenyatta president as a result of Odinga's declaration.

The re-election in Kenya must have taken on October 26. Raila Odinga, however, made the further announcement:

“We have concluded that there is no intention on the part of the IEBC to take on any changes to its operations and personnel. All indications are that the election scheduled for October 26, will be worse than the previous one. Therefore, considering the interests of all Kenyans and the world at large, the best decision is to withdraw from the race,” told the leader of the opposition.

As TUKO Kenya informs, Odinga's coalition party thinks that the election will be canceled due to his pulling out. The official party statement says: “The court will have sufficient time to take on the reforms essential to conduct an election that is in severe agreement with the constitution, the relevant laws, and the constitution.”

Uhuru Kenyatta, in his turn, told that he had no problem going back to elections. “We are sure we will receive even more votes than in August 2017. We are also telling him it is the people's right to choose their leader. It is their sovereign right to choose their leader of choice,” responded Kenyatta.

However, many political experts in Kenya say that this withdrawal is a particular strategy for Raila Odinga to leave the political scene on his terms. The cancellation of Uhuru Kenyatta's victory in August election is a much-needed political high for Mr. Odinga.

The legal consequences of Odinga's pulling out are still indistinct. Constitutional lawyers keep on disputing on the way forward, and whether October 26 election can again take place and if, despite his withdrawal, Odinga will be on the ballot.





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