Kenya president: elections will go ahead despite opposition leader's withdrawal

Kenya president: elections will go ahead despite opposition leader's withdrawal

Kenya president: elections will go ahead despite opposition leader's withdrawal

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew Tuesday from a re-run of the presidential election in the latest twist to a political saga that has plunged the nation into uncertainty.

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 petitioned the country's Supreme Court to throw out the results of the first presidential elections and they did. "A number of the officials of the commission should be sent home, some of them should be investigated for the heinous crimes they committed".

President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto hit the ground running the moment Supreme Court nullified their August 8 win while on the other hand, Nasa has adopted a different strategy, the use of press conferences and ongoing protests driven by no reforms, no election mantra.

August 16: Opposition announces it will challenge election results in court.

President Kenyatta said Odinga has exercised his democratic right to withdraw from the repeat poll but Jubilee is ready for the planned poll.

However the opposition sees the laws as a bid to legalise the "irregularities and illegalities" in the counting process cited by the Supreme Court. "All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one", Odinga said.

Kenyatta has said he does not want changes to the electoral commission.

The National Super Alliance (NASA) flagbearer condemned the ruling Jubilee administration for introducing electoral reforms with just two weeks to the polls, saying there will not be a level playing field.

Uhuru will not be declared victor anytime soon.Photo:Uhuru Kenyatta/Facebook. "We should have been working together to ensure that we uphold these values as they are not only our national values but are also the foundations of a credible electoral system", said Odinga.

Hundreds of demonstrators marched through the Kenyan capital on Monday demanding election reforms, as a rights group said at least 37 people were killed in three days of protests that followed the voided presidential vote in August.

Odinga's withdrawal created confusion in East Africa's largest economy, with observers wondering how the new election might go forward.

Kenyan police were blamed for a third of more than 1 100 deaths in 2007 when the country faced its deadliest ever post election dispute.

Odinga has called for protests on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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