Kenya’s Raila Odinga withdraws from election re-run

Raila Odinga, Kenya’s opposition leader, has withdrawn from a re-run of the presidential election, saying electoral officials have failed to make necessary reforms.

Kenya’s Supreme Court last month annulled the August presidential poll, won by incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, due to widespread irregularities in the counting process.

Odinga and his National Super Alliance (NASA) had pledged not to take part in the vote re-run unless reforms were made to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Speaking in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday, Odinga said, “After deliberating on our position in respect of the upcoming election … we believe that all will be best served by [the party] vacating its presidential candidature in the election scheduled for 26 October 2017.

“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.”

In a related development, Kenyan opposition legislators said they would boycott parliament over proposed election law amendments in advance of the election re-run.

The poll pitting Kenyatta against Odinga must be held by the end of October, according to the Supreme Court ruling.

Judges ordered the re-run after nullifying Kenyatta’s win in the August 8 vote, citing procedural irregularities.

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