Raila withdraws from race, demands fresh election

Oct 12, 2017, 00:32
Raila withdraws from race, demands fresh election

Speaking in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, Odinga said, "After deliberating on our position in respect of the upcoming election - we believe that all will be best served by [the party] vacating its presidential candidature in the election scheduled for 26 October 2017".

Despite the win on Ekuru's part, the IEBC has now announced that all 8 presidential aspirants who took part in the August 8 poll would be included on October 26.

A Kenyan judge has allowed a minor opposition candidate to run for president, a day after opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew from the rerun of the poll ordered by the Supreme Court.

Odinga then surprised Kenyans by withdrawing from the fresh election, saying the electoral commission must be changed or the new vote risks having the same problems.

The election commission has "no intention" of making any changes before the new vote, Mr Odinga told supporters.

He said the commission had "stonewalled" reforms the opposition had sought and wasted time in "public relations exercises" meant to create an impression of "motion without movement".

Mr Kenyatta said the October 26 election will go ahead despite Mr Odinga's withdrawal.

Raila said his withdrawal requires the commission chaired by Wafula Chebukati to conduct fresh nominations as provided for in Elections Act 2011, Section 13 (1).

Odinga alleged that a lack of reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) - the organisation responsible for running the election - had left the door open to electoral fraud by the ruling Jubilee Party.

The IEBC released a statement that, "following the withdrawal of the NASA presidential candidate, the Commission and the legal team are meeting and will communicate the way forward".

The opposition says the changes are meant to make the transmission of election results a manual process that would have fewer safeguards against fraud, and would make it more hard for the court to annul an election.

Mr Odinga has contested and lost the last three presidential elections in Kenya, sources confirm, each time, he has said the vote was rigged against him.

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