Opposition demands poll reform in Kenya

Terry Joseph
October 11, 2017

Morgan Tsvangirai's ally and Kenyan opposition leader, Raila Odinga has played a Tsvangirai 2008 by pulling out of October's election re-run.

"We deem that the fresh election ordered by the Supreme Court can not therefore be held", they statement by Nasa reads.

The dilemma will be whether it is still in public interest to conduct an expensive repeat election or just declare Kenyatta as President of the Republic of Kenya.

Violence flared across the country during the first election, with 24 people killed in political riots.

Leaning on a 2013 ruling by the Supreme Court, the opposition said that if a candidate withdraws, then the IEBC is required to conduct fresh nominations for the presidency.

"The only election the Jubilee administration is interested in is one that it must win, even unlawfully", Odinga said.

On September 1, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that the August 8 Presidential election was not held in accordance with the Constitution and election laws.

The 25-item document included a comprehensive audit of elections-related technology, a change of the company that printed the ballot forms, and the replacement of all 290 elections officers.

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"We have said and we continue to say that we will not participate in the elections if the environment is not conducive for a free and fair election", he told a press conference.

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

Shortly after Odinga made his announcement, President Uhuru Kenyatta took the stage at a political rally in Western Kenya.

In the run-up to the reelection, there were attempts by Kenyatta's Jubilee Party, which has a majority in parliament, to reform electoral laws and the IEBC, but the opposition dismissed the efforts as insincere.

He explained that NASA leaders came to the conclusion that there is no intention from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to guard against "the irregularities and illegalities witnessed in the August 8 elections".

The commission will thereafter communicate the way forward.

Odinga's opposition alliance is threatening to boycott the poll unless the election board changes some personnel. He blamed them for irregularities during the August 8 vote.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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