Kenya's opposition demands election reform
East African nation scheduled to hold a presidential election on October 17
Kenya’s opposition party said it will not participate in the upcoming presidential election without major reforms to the national electoral commission.
The East African nation is scheduled to hold a second presidential election on October 17 after its disputed vote last month was thrown out by the Supreme Court over irregularities.
“We will and we shall not participate in any election where it turns out to be a ritual and you end up with computer-generated leaders,” said Moses Wetangula, a top official for the opposition party, National Super Alliance (NASA).
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) planned the second election after the Supreme Court determined the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta on August 8 was tainted by irregularities.
The ruling marked the first time in Africa that a court has nullified the re-election of a sitting leader.
“The presidential election was not conducted in accordance with the constitution, rendering the declared results invalid, null and void,” Chief Justice David Maraga said during the court proceeding.
Odinga’s NASA party announced at a news conference Wednesday that it will not participate in the October 17 election without major changes to the IEBC.
“No accountability, no election,” Wetangula said.
NASA said it has identified the “perpetrators of the criminal enterprise within the IEBC” and will pursue prosecutions.
The IEBC said it is scheduling a meeting with NASA officials to discuss the allegations.
Kenyatta urged the opposition to stop issuing unnecessary demands and condemned NASA leaders for “continuously antagonizing” Kenyans.
“They know we will beat them like the way we did on August 8. This is why they are now claiming that they will not participate in the October polls,” Deputy President William Ruto said.
Odinga is a longtime challenger who has yet to claim the presidency. Kenyatta, the 55-year-old son of the nation’s founding father, has already served one five-year term.