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Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga pulls out of October 26 poll re-run

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga pulls out of October 26 poll re-run


Kenya’s main opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) will not participate in a presidential election re-run ordered by the country’s Supreme Court.

The decision was announced by its leader and former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, on Tuesday afternoon.

“Following the nullification of the presidential election held on the 8th of August 2017, and the subsequent gazettement by the commission of the undersigned as presidential candidate and running mate for fresh elections that they had scheduled for the 26th October 2017, we hereby withdraw our candidature with immediate effect,” Odinga said.

The elections body – the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had slated October 26 for the repeat vote between incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga.

NASA got a fovourable court judgment after the Justice David Maraga-led court canceled the August 8 presidential elections. The results as declared by the IEBC showed Uhuru Kenyatta had won by over 60% of votes cast.

The court in giving its judgment of September 1, held that the process was not in consonance with the laid down rules and ordered a re-run in 60 days. It was the first time an African court had annulled a presidential election.

NASA in the aftermath made calls for electoral reforms and the dismissal of IEBC officials who reportedly conspired to muddy the annulled vote. They called for bi-weekly protests which have been dispersed by riot police.

Speaking after NASA’s latest move, Kenyatta who is campaigning in the port city of Mombasa told supporters that the vote will go ahead as planned. The IEBC, meanwhile, says it is meeting on the development and will communicate the way forward soon.

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