Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Kenyatta: elections will go ahead despite opposition leader's withdrawal

Kenyatta: elections will go ahead despite opposition leader's withdrawal

A re-run of the presidential vote was announced after Kenya's Supreme Court nullified the result of the August 8 election after Odinga lodged a complaint, claiming that the computers of the electoral commission had been hacked to generate a victory for Uhuru Kenyatta.

The elections body - the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had slated October 26 for the repeat vote between incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga.

Odinga who was accompanied by co-principals and lawmakers from the National Super Alliance (NASA) said his decision to withdraw from the race was in line with the constitution.

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".

Odinga said at a news conference in Nairobi that he was boycotting the polls because his demands for electoral reform had not been met.

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It also proposes to strip the powers of announcing the victor of a presidential poll from the chairman of the electoral commission to any other commissioner.

Following the withdrawal of the NASA presidential candidate, the Commission and the legal team are meeting and will communicate way forward.

"Kenyans are exhausted and want to move forward".

IEBC has "refused, neglected or failed to put in place mechanisms to correct illegalities and irregularities cited by Supreme Court during the nullification of the August election".

If president Kenyatta is declared to have won that fresh election, then he would be sworn in for the second term unless another petition is filed.

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"We will not allow autocracy back into Kenya", Odinga said.

The IEBC would then go ahead and hold the election by printing the ballots with the Nasa candidate therein and supervise voting on October 26 and thereafter declare a victor.

"Kenya is a democratic country and there is no court that can force me to participate in an election I know will be rigged".

Observers say Odinga has also not shown keen interest on the campaign trail as he vigorously did ahead of the August 8 polls.

Last week, the IEBC told Odinga that they can not meet his demands due to tight timelines and binding legal contracts.

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