Nairobi, Kenya | AFP | Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew Tuesday from a re-run of the presidential election, saying electoral officials had failed to make necessary reforms.
“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.
Kenya’s Supreme Court last month annulled the August presidential poll, won by President Uhuru Kenyatta, due to widespread irregularities in the counting process.
Since then Odinga and his National Super Alliance (NASA) have vowed not to take part in the re-run unless a series of reforms were made to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
“We have come to the conclusion that there is no intention on the part of the IEBC to undertake any changes to its operations and personnel… All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one,” said Odinga on Tuesday.
Indications that NASA had reached a decision on the polls came a day earlier. “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,” Odinga had said on Monday.
Soon after NASA’s decision was announced, the IEBC responded, tweeting the measures they had taken to improve the electoral process.
Here is the Letter to NASA on Fresh Presidential Campaigns and the NASA Irreducible Minimums on Electoral Reforms Before the Fresh Elections pic.twitter.com/Awcinokdre
— IEBC (@IEBCKenya) October 10, 2017
The IEBC said that “following the withdrawal of the NASA presidential candidate, the Commission and the legal team are meeting and will communicate way forward.”