Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga, the leader of the National Super Alliance, said he’s pulling out of the race because the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission refused to discuss proposed changes to the authority’s personnel and procedures to ensure the vote is free and fair.
“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 to ensure that the “illegalities and irregularities” that led to the invalidation of the 8th August, 2008 do not happen again.”
All indications are that the election scheduled for Oct. 26 will be worse than the previous one,” Odinga told reporters Tuesday in the capital, Nairobi.
He highlighted six reasons why NASA withdrew from the race.
1. IEBC has “refused, neglected or failed to put in place mechanisms to correct illegalities and irregularities cited by Supreme Court during the nullification of the August election.”
2. The electoral commission has been acting in bad faith, citing among other issues, the retention of service providers such as technology firm Safran/OT Morpho and printer Al Ghurair which NASA has accused of being complicit in bungling of the August poll.
3. They accused IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba, whom they call “coup plotter in chief” of still dominating operations of the commission and stifling any attempt to initiate reforms at the commission.
4. NASA says that Jubilee is firmly in charge of IEBC through four commissioners who have set out to implement the party’s agenda within the commission.
5. They took issue with the proposed amendments saying; “The ill-conceived amendments to election laws are not only unconstitutional but go against international best practice that in the middle of an elections contest one cannot change the rules and put in place rules that seek to favour him.”
6. NASA further pointed out the withdrawal of its leaders’ security saying the State has made it untenable for the candidates to campaign freely without fear of being harmed.
According to the coalition, Raila’s withdrawal from the election “is in the best interest of the country and a win-win for everyone”.
However, Kenya’s president, who has been campaigning to defend his win declared in the August polls, Uhuru Kenyatta says Raila Odinga has exercised his democratic right to withdraw from repeat poll, saying the election will proceed as planned.
“He is free to withdraw from the race if he is not interested. Kenyans must be allowed to move forward,” the Head of State told local media in Kenya.
The High Court on Friday cleared Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati and CEO Ezra Chiloba to conduct the repeat presidential poll on October 26 against agitations by NASA