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Kenya: Odinga withdraws from election re-run

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has pulled out of October’s election re-run. Photo: Flickr.com

Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga said on Tuesday he will not participate in the re-run of a presidential election proposed for 26 October unless electoral officials make necessary reforms.

The country’s Supreme Court last month annulled the August presidential poll, won by incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, due to widespread irregularities in the counting process.

The ruling, the first time in Africa, was hailed by Odinga supporters as “historic”.

Speaking in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, Odinga said, “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.

“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.”

“You cannot do a mistake twice and expect to get different results,” Mr Odinga told reporters. “A number of the officials of the commission should be sent home, some of them should be investigated for the heinous crimes they committed.”

Incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta responded by telling local press there was nowhere in law that required the electoral body to consult Mr Odinga.

In a related development, Kenyan opposition legislators said they would boycott parliament over proposed election law amendments in advance of the election re-run.

Mr Odinga has contested and lost the last three presidential elections in Kenya, sources confirm, each time, he has said the vote was rigged against him.

Additional Reporting by AFP News Agency.

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