Kenyan court dismisses case compelling Odinga to contest poll

Raila Odinga has asked his supporters not to turn up for Thursday’s vote

Kenya’s High Court has dismissed a petition seeking to compel main opposition candidate Raila Odinga to participate in Thursday’s repeat presidential election.

The case which was filed by a Member of Parliament allied to the ruling Jubilee Party was dismissed by Judge Chacha Mwita on Tuesday, who ruled that the High Court lacks jurisdiction on the matter.

Odinga announced on October 10 that he would not take part in the October 26 poll, demanding changes in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

His NASA opposition coalition has been holding nationwide protests to demand those reforms. It is particularly seeking to have some electoral officials it accuses of engaging in malpractices in the August 8 vote to resign before taking part in the poll.

The repeat presidential election was ordered by the Supreme Court after it annulled the results of the August 8 vote, citing malpractices in the tallying and transmission processes.

The ruling Jubilee Party has however dismissed NASA’s claims, saying they are attempts to bully the IEBC into doing things their way.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is adamant the election will go on as planned, whether Odinga participates or not.

The opposition leader has however asked his supporters not to turn up for the vote on Thursday, saying he would make a major announcement on Wednesday.