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Raila Likely to Opt Out of Repeat Election with Planned Visit to UK

Moses Nyamori

Oct,09-2017 12:13:46
Kenyan opposition presidential candidate Raila Odinga's planned visit to the UK and lack of interest in campaigns about two weeks to the fresh presidential election appears to indicate he may not participate in the poll after all.

Raila has said several times he will only run against President Uhuru Kenyatta if all of his "irreducible minimum" conditions presented to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) are met.

Saturday, Senate Leader of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen claimed Raila planned to drop out of the race before going to the UK, where he is expected to deliver a lecture at Chatham House.

Mr Murkomen anchored his claims on the proposed election laws as well as court cases brought by (August 8) presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot and Pokot South MP David Pkosin, which he said had worked against Raila’s plan to occasion a political crisis so he could precipitate the formation of a transition or coalition government.

"Where only one candidate remains after the withdrawal, the remaining candidate shall be declared elected forthwith as the president-elect without any elections being held," states a clause in an amendment to Section 86 of the Election Act on the procedure of a repeat presidential election.

Dr Aukot is seeking to be included in the repeat race, in a case whose verdict will be delivered by Wednesday.

Jubilee Party claims if the courts rule in Aukot's favour, then even if Raila pulls out, there will still be an election.

On the other hand, Mr Pkosin wants the court to automatically render Raila's nomination null and void by declaring the boycott threats treasonous.

"Raila Odinga is planning to drop out of the race officially any time from now but the legal uncertainties are complicating his decision. Raila hoped that by dropping out of the race he would cause a crisis but a few cases in court are complicating matters for him," tweeted Murkomen.

Legitimise win

Orange Democratic Movement Director of Elections Junet Mohammed on Saturday said participating in the election would only serve to legitimise Uhuru’s possible win.

He said if all the Opposition demands were not met, there would be no reason to run in an election that "would be rigged".

Mr Mohammed said the Opposition would from next week hold rallies to tell their supporters not to engage in the fresh presidential election.

Among other things, Raila wants IEBC officials he accuses of bungling the August 8 elections removed.


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