Kenyan launches effort to have Odinga nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Supporters of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga have launched an online petition to have him nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Raila Odinga

The petition filed by one Ali Abdi, a Kenyan citizen living in the United Kingdom, under the grabbed the attention of thousands of Kenyans on social media including politicians most of who welcomed the move.

So far more than 1,800 people have signed the petition which says sMr. Odinga “saved Kenya from turning into bloody civil war” by shaking hands with rival Uhuru Kenyatta after last year’s disputed elections. Mr. Odinga is also praised for “sacrificing his freedom” for peace.

President Kenyatta was declared winner of a controversial re-run of the presidential election in October last year.

He won 98% of the vote with turnout at just under 39% – less than half that recorded in the original vote in August, according to Kenya’s election commission. His rival Mr Odinga pulled out of the re-run and urged his supporters to boycott it.

Mr. Kenyatta was also declared the winner in the August vote, which was annulled because of “irregularities”. About 50 people are reported to have died in violence since the poll.

The unprecedented decision from the Supreme Court cancelling the result did not attribute any blame to President Kenyatta’s party or campaign.