Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

Raila Odinga withdraws from Kenya poll re-run

Raila Odinga withdraws from Kenya poll re-run

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga announced Tuesday that he will withdraw from this month's presidential election rerun, despite having successfully challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta's claimed win in court.

Kenya's Supreme Court invalidated the results of the contentious August 8 vote, which showed victory for Kenyatta and ordered a new election within 60 days.

It stated that candidates in the fresh election would only be President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.

Odinga petitioned the country's Supreme Court to throw out the results of the first presidential elections and they did.

Nasa contends that the effect of the withdrawal is that a fresh election will have to be held, starting with fresh nominations of candidates by political parties.

President Kenyatta said the election will be conducted whether the name of Odinga is on the ballot or not.

The opposition cited the Supreme Court ruling saying it found illegalities and irregularities in the presidential elections held on August 8.

"To lay a foundation for free, fair, transparent and credible elections, we need broad support for these amendments that the Kenyan people have demanded", he said while addressing supporters in Mombasa.

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Raila said the withdrawal from the election "is in the best interest of the country and a win-win for everyone".

IEBC had on August 10 declared President Kenyatta victor of the August 8 elections with 54.27% against Odinga's 44.74% of the total votes cast.

Kenyatta had said he would abide by the court decision but has repeatedly accused the justices of standing in the way of the people's will.

Odinga's announcement comes as the ruling party dominated parliament pushed forward Tuesday with plans to change electoral laws to reduce "ambiguities" that led to the poll being cancelled.

They said the opposition raised concern on statutory forms to be used in the election and technology employed.

Pundits agreed that east Africa's largest economy was staring at a new wave of political stalemate that bodes ill for Kenya's ability to remain stable and hasten economic growth.

Odinga's opposition alliance is threatening to boycott the poll unless the election board changes some personnel.

Kenyatta expressed confidence that Kenyans will rally behind him as they did in the August 8 general election.

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