Kenya: Odinga proposes ‘People’s Assembly’

Raila Odinga boycotted the October 26 repeat presidential election.
Raila Odinga boycotted the October 26 repeat presidential election.

Kenya’s main opposition leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday said he would convene a “People’s Assembly” to try and improve governance in the country following the October 26 repeat presidential election which he boycotted.

Supporters of Odinga had been awaiting his announcement following that poll which Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner with 98.26 percent of the votes cast.

The opposition leader termed the election a sham, though he made no mention of challenging the result in court as he did the disputed August 8 election.

The repeat vote was ordered by the country’s Supreme Court after it had annulled the presidential election which Kenyatta had been declared winner.

The court ruled that the vote was marred by electoral malpractices in the tallying and transmission processes.

Odinga-led NASA coalition demanded reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), particularly resignations of some officers it alleged engaged in malpractices in the annulled vote.

He went on to withdraw from the race, saying he would not participate in an election overseen by the same officers.

The ruling Jubilee Party however dismissed those claims, accusing the opposition of attempting to bully the electoral body.

In his victory speech, president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta dismissed calls to hold dialogue with the opposition, saying they out to exhaust the constitutionally stipulated means first.

Kenyatta, once sworn-in, will serve his second and last term as president.