Kenya's opposition leader quits presidential re-run

Kenya's opposition leader quits presidential re-run

Kenya's opposition leader quits presidential re-run

The decision by Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka to pull out of the race, on the grounds that the IEBC failed to meet their demands for electoral reforms before the repeat poll, has created a wave of public concern and even panic in some quarters.

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

Kenya opposition leader Raila Odinga has withdrawn his candidacy in the fresh presidential election ordered by the country's supreme court. Taking all these issues into consideration, Odinga said his NASA coalition party was withdrawing from the election.

It believes the election will have to be cancelled as a result of Mr Odinga's withdrawal, allowing "adequate time to undertake the reforms necessary to conduct an election that is in strict conformity with the constitution, the relevant laws and the constitution".

The legal validity of this argument is likely to be subject to heated debate. "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. If I choose not to participate in the pre-rigged election process, it is my democratic right.

Thousands have protested across the country in response to his call for demonstrations on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as political rhetoric on both sides has grown more angry.

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In reaction to the expected vote next week, the United States, a major donor to the Kenyan government and its security forces, said in a sharply worded statement on Friday: "Changing electoral laws without broad agreement just prior to a poll is not consistent with global best practice (and) increases political tension".

The presidential candidate whose petition claiming the recent presidential elections were unfair was upheld by the Supreme Court suddenly withdrew his name from the reelection ballot on Tuesday, sending the do-over election into chaos.

These included failing to ensure tally forms were properly transmitted and announcing a presidential result that could not be verified, due to original forms being missing. Experts say the re-run elections look increasingly unlikely to happen. More than 1,100 people were killed in politically motivated tribal violence after the 2007 election.

Raila Odinga has warned the police not to attack or stop protesters from exercising their rights.

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.

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