Raila Odinga withdraws from repeat presidential Elections

By David Indeje / October 10, 2017

Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition has withdrawn from the October 26 presidential race and demanded that electoral commission calls a fresh election.

“This a statement of withdrawal from the forthcoming election of Rt. Hon Raila Odinga and Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka ” announced Raila at a media briefing on Tuesday.

“We in Nasa are calling for “Uchaguzi Bora” – a credible election. In the interest of the people of Kenya we believe all will be best served by NASA by vacating candidature from 26th October poll ,” he added.

The coalition reiterated that they won the battle for multi-party democracy and the new constitution. “We will win the battle for a free and fair election.”

However, Musalia Mudavadi, NASA co-principal said that in 2013, the Supreme Court clarified the meaning of Article 138(8) (b) to include withdrawal of a presidential candidate.

“The Supreme Court clarified that the relevant article is 138 (8) (b) which deals with cancellation of a presidential election, in the event of the death of the president or the deputy, on or before the scheduled date. The Supreme Court expanded the clause to include when a candidate withdraws from the presidential election,” Mudavadi said.

“The implication of this provision is that upon our withdrawal, the election scheduled for October 26 stands cancelled.”

Raila further faulted the IEBC stating, “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. All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one.”

Similarly, the IEBC  rejected NASA’s irreducible minimums demands to replace ballot printing firm Al Ghurair and  ICT results transmission firm Safran and OT Morpho.

“The commission has an existing biometric voter registration (BVR) system that is maintained by OT Morpho. The Register of Voters was audited and certified by an independent audit firm. The KIEMS has been integrated with the biometric voter registration system. For this reasons the Commission had to retain the services of OT Morpho, said the IEBC.

Chebukati also reiterated, “We confirm that we have taken necessary steps to guarantee the integrity of the fresh presidential elections, and welcome your support.”

Besides, the coalition said they had formally written to Wafula Chebukati, the IEBC chair of their withdrawal.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on the other hand while campaigning in Voi said the election will take place as planned despite the withdrawal of his rival.

“It is his democratic to participate or not, we’re telling him it’s the right of people to decide. Democracy is a right and no one person can decide for 45M Kenyans,” said Uhuru. 

The Supreme Court of Kenya by majority nullified the re-election of Uhuru Kenyatta as president of Kenya after the 8. Aug polls and ordered a new vote in 60 days.

Before the petition, the IEBC had declared Uhuru, the Jubilee candidate winner of the presidential vote after he garnered 8,203,290 (54.27 percent) votes against Mr Raila’s 6,762, 224 (44.74 percent).

The Court by a majority -Chief Justice David Maraga, deputy Philomena Mwilu, Judges Smokin Wanjala, and Isaac Lenaola ruled that the August Presidential elections contained “irregularities and illegalities”.

“The Presidential Election held on 8th August 2017 was not conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the applicable law rendering the declared result invalid, null and void,” ruled the judges.

The Supreme Court ordered the IEBC to organise a fresh presidential election in conformity with the Constitution.

“An Order is hereby issued directing the 1st respondent to organize and conduct a fresh Presidential Election in strict conformity with the Constitution and the applicable election laws within 60 days of the determination of 1st September 2017 under Article 140(3) of the Constitution.”

However, Uhuru ‘disagreed with the Supreme Court ruling’.

“We shall revisit this thing. We clearly have a problem. Who even elected you? Were you? We have a problem and we must fix it. Going forward we must fix it. We must fix that problem,” he said at State House.

Indeed, the Jubilee Party went ahead and tabled an Elections Amendment Bill which was debated on Tuesday by both houses (National Assembly and the Senate).

The bill introduces manual tallying and transmission of the results arguing that electronic transmission failed in the August 8th election.

It also contains a provision for the vice-chairman to act as the boss of the electoral commission in the absence of the chairman.

The Bill also seeks to make it mandatory for the IEBC chairman to have all the Forms 34A and 34B before announcing the result of the Presidential tally.

The repeat presidential elections were rescheduled for Oct. 26 from oct. 17 to ensure that the Commission is fully prepared to deliver an election that meets the standard set out by the Supreme Court.

The IEBC has been allocated Ksh 10 billion to cover the repeat elections.

About David Indeje

David Indeje is a writer and editor, with interests on how technology is changing journalism, government, Health, and Gender Development stories are his passion. Follow on Twitter @David_Indeje David can be reached on: (020) 528 0222 / Email: [email protected]

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