Election impasse in Kenya is heading deeper into abyss of confusion and likely violence as opposition candidate, Raila Odinga said on Tuesday he would not stand in a court-ordered re-run of August’s presidential election that is scheduled for Oct. 26.
Mr. Odinga said he’s withdrawing because the the polls would not be free or fair.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on his part said the election would proceed as planned, making him the sole candidate in Odinga’s absence.
These two contrasting announcements only further to mire confusion and uncertainty in Kenya, the biggest economy in East Africa and a staunch ally of the West in the war against terrorism.
If you recall, protest and ethnic violence led to the death of 1,200 people after a disputed 2007 presidential election.
“There is no intention on the part of the IEBC to undertake any changes to its operations and parts of the personnel to ensure that the illegalities and irregularities that led to the invalidation of 8th of August do not happen again,” Odinga told a news conference in the capital of Nairobi.
“Indications are that elections scheduled for the 26th of August will be worse than the previous one,” he said. “In the interest of the people of Kenya, the region and world at large, we believe that all will be best served by (opposition alliance) NASA vacating the presidential candidature of elections.”
“Following the withdrawal of the NASA presidential candidate, the Commission and the legal team are meeting and will communicate way forward,” the IEBC said on Twitter.