Kenyan challenger rejects new election date, calls for corrections

Sept. 5 (UPI) — Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga says he will not participate in a rerun of the presidential election next month, as it’s currently scheduled.

Odinga lost August’s original election to incumbent President Uluru Kenyatta, but the election results were nullified last week in an unprecedented decision by Kenya’s Supreme Court.

The election commission scheduled the new election for Oct. 17, but Odinga said the panel erred by not first consulting stakeholders about the date.

The presidential challenger said the next election must be held in an environment in which all that went wrong is corrected.

“We know exactly what transpired in these last elections, we know what the IEBC did and we know that if we were to go back there will be no different results, and that’s why we will say there will be no elections on the 17th of October,” he said.

Only Kenyatta and Odinga are on the ballot, locking out minority party candidates.

Odinga instead recommended Oct. 24 as the voting date, saying he would not participate unless “legal and constitutional guarantees” were put in place. He did not specify what guarantees he seeks.

Odinga contends that Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission worked with Kenyatta’s party to discount votes gathered by electronic means. Kenyatta was declared the winner on Aug. 8 with 54 percent of the vote. Odinga lost with 45 percent.


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