Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga has pulled out of a planned presidential re election. Raila Odinga made the announcement amid the country’s political tension and said his withdrawal from the race will give the electoral commission enough time to undertake reforms that will help deliver a more credible election.
“In a constitutional democracy, we should not be debating about a free and fair election, or compliance with court orders, or accountability for breach of public trust. We should have been working together to ensure that we uphold these values as they are not only our national values but are also the foundations of a credible electoral system,” said part of the release that was read out by Raila.
The poll was scheduled to take place in about two weeks. The results of the first presidential election held in August, which placed the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta ahead by nearly one and a half million votes, were annulled by the Supreme Court on account of irregularities.
Meanwhile, president Uhuru Kenyatta is in the Coastal region campaigning. With Raila Odinga’s decision to withdraw from the poll, Kenyans now are faced with a constitutional dilemma of what is in store for the future of the East African nation.
Since the Kenya’s Supreme Court nullified the last presidential election result, Raila Odinga has been demanding for a total reshuffle of 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 to ensure that the “illegalities and irregularities” that led to the invalidation of the 8th August, 2008 do not happen again. All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one,” said Raila.