emfizz.com October 24, 2017

Kenyan opposition candidate Odinga drops out of presidential race

11 October 2017, 12:06 | Bernard Bryant

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Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday withdrew from presidential rerun slated for October 26.

IEBC sticks to what the Supreme court ordered and proceeds with the October 26 repeat election.

But lawyers for President Uhuru Kenyatta are pointing to regulations that say if there are only two candidates and one drops out after nominations, the remaining candidate is the victor.

"It is clear that this provision gives adequate time to undertake the reforms necessary to conduct an election that is in strict conformity with the Constitution", NASA said in a statement.

This election had been seen as the last try at the presidency for the 72-year-old Odinga, a longtime candidate and the son of Kenya's first vice president. New elections are scheduled for October 26.

The opposition coalition has suffered a series of defections since the Supreme Court of Kenya nullified the August 8 Presidential election results.

Raila said the withdrawal from the election "is in the best interest of the country and a win-win for everyone".

NASA said it is planning to hold demonstrations under the motto "No reform, no elections" across the East African nation on Wednesday - a move that analysts fear could lead to violence.

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"It has wasted valuable time engaging in public relations exercises meant to create the illusion of motion without any movement", Odinga said.

The Supreme Court on September 1 nullified Kenyatta's August re-election, citing illegalities in the vote and the election commission's refusal to allow scrutiny of its computer system.

It said while the United States did not back any party or candidate, it fully supports the work of an election board.

Judges of the apex court said their decision to invalidate Kenyatta's victory was based on gross malpractices by the electoral agency that included tampering of results tallying and transmission infrastructure.

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

The commission will thereafter communicate the way forward.

The protesters want to warn ruling party lawmakers not to pass an amendment to the election law that would limit the circumstances in which the Supreme Court could void an election on procedural grounds, opposition lawmaker James Orengo said. He blamed them for irregularities during the August 8 vote.

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