Kenya’s opposition leader withdraws from repeat presidential race

Opposition leader Raila Odinga addresses the press on the general election, August 9, 2017. /REUTERS

By Fauxile Kibet

Kenya’s Opposition leader Raila Odinga has pulled out of the fresh presidential polls scheduled for October 26th throwing into a spin the East African nation’s attempts at dispensing with the electoral exercise in barely two week’s time.

The National Super Alliance leader made the the announcement Tuesday during a press conference held at the country’s headquarters Nairobi and demanded that the electoral commission (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) call for fresh polls.

Mr. Odinga stated he was forced to drop out after it emerged the IEBC was not willing to institute any changes. “It has wasted valuable time engaging in public relations exercises intended to create the illusion of motion without any movement,” he said.

“All indications are that the election scheduled for October 26 will be worse than the previous one.”

His move came amidst a debate by the country’s parliament intended to amend sections of the constitution that they said led to the Supreme Court nullifying the August 8th elections.

Opposition Members of Parliament had boycotted Tuesday’s sitting saying that the amendments were illegitimate. However, according to IEBC officials who spoke to the media, the move by Odinga was already late since he was supposed to do so three days after he was gazetted.

 

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