Kenya president: elections will go ahead despite opposition leader's withdrawal

Challenger Raila Odinga has withdrawn from the poll

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga says he is pulling out of the October 26 rerun presidential polls, citing grievances with the electoral commission and President Uhuru Kenyatta's ruling party.

According to analysts, under the new circumstances the options are: either President Kenyatta heads back to the Supreme Court to ask for further directions or IEBC declares Kenyatta as the only candidate and thus the President-elect.

It was the first time a court had overturned the result of a presidential election in Africa.

Odinga also demanded independent global experts to be engaged to manage the entire ICT framework of the elections with close supervision of the candidates' agents and the IEBC.

President Kenyatta said the election will be conducted whether the name of Odinga is on the ballot or not.

Kenyatta has said he does not want changes to the election commission.

His party, the National Super Alliance (NASA), had vowed not to take part in the poll re-run unless the election commission was reformed.

"We will only participate in an election where we know the outcome will be free and fair", Orengo told the opposition supporters.




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

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

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.

Odinga addresses the press on Tuesday.

The Nairobi-based court said the electoral board committed "irregularities and illegalities" during the vote, harming the integrity of the election.

"While the Commission was not able to determine whether the action to use force by security agents was predetermined and targeted, it is clear from our analysis that majority of the victims were from one ethnic community and from informal settlements", the report said.

The opposition is threatening to boycott the October 26 re-run if election board officials are not removed and if parliament passes a proposed amendment to the election law.

Kenyatta won the August 8 vote by a margin of 1.4 million votes over Odinga.

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