Raila Odinga withdraws from Kenya’s presidential repeat polls
After the IEBC failing to meet Raila Odinga’s demands, the opposition member by the NASA party has taken a step to prove worth of his promise.
During the early hours of Tuesday, 10 October, 2017, Raila Odinga, the NASA flag bearer and the only presidential candidate that was supposed to go to the repeat polls with the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta, announced his withdrawal from the election rerun.
Earlier on after the IEBC declared the new date for the repeat polls after the nullification of the original one by the Supreme Court, Raila Odinga laid some conditions that he promised if not met, he would not participate in the presidential rerun.
Amongst his conditions and demands was the resigning of the IEBC (electoral commission) top leaders that he says helped Uhuru Kenyatta, the Jubilee flag bearer to rig the elections during the first time.
With this condition plus some others that he laid not met, it explains the NASA flag bearer’s withdrawal.
An hour after Raila Odinga’s announcement was made – according to the sources, Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent, responded immediately expressing how so unfair Raila’s decision had been.
“The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission received billions of shillings to prepare for the election. This money could have been used for developmental projects across the country but because the Supreme Court and Raila wanted the election to be redone, the money was allocated to the IEBC,” Uhuru Kenyatta explained.
“Now,” Mr. Kenyatta added, “He is saying he will not participate in the election. Is there any justice in this?”
However, Mr. Kenyatta did not end at just expressing his anger towards Mr. Odinga’s move only. He also promised that the election will still go on, with or without Raila Odinga.
“Whether he will participate or not, we as Jubilee will not look back. We shall still respect our supporters, go to them, and ask for votes and this time, the difference will be way too huge,” the President was quoted as saying.
In his words, Mr. Kenyatta also added that it is not after all written anywhere in Kenya that Raila Odinga must participate in the election.
As for Mr. Odinga in defense, he said that his decision is to give the IEBC enough more time to introduce reforms in the commission as he demanded.
“We have come to the conclusion that there is no intention on the part of the IEBC to undertake any changes to its operations and personnel… All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one,” Raila Odinga was quoted by a local newspaper in Kenya as saying.
During a news conference after his announcement, Raila Odinga urged his supporters to use the ‘no reforms, no election’ slogan during the anti-IEBC protests.
Reporter: Shamilah Namuddu