General News

Kenya opposition suporters protest after Odinga drops out of re-run

Date: Oct 12, 2017

Hundreds of protesters marched through Nairobi demanding for electoral reform after Kenya's opposition leader, Raila Odinga, withdrew from running in the country's re-staged election later this month.

Kenya's presidential election back in August produced a victory for incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta, but the result was voided by the Supreme Court, which blamed the electoral commission, and ordered a new vote to be held.

The commission says it can hold a credible re-run. However, Odinga is not convinced, and dropped out of the race on Tuesday.

Odinga's supporters gathered in large numbers at a downtown rally arranged by the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) party, and have called upon the electoral commission to implement major reform. "We cannot be forced by the doctored rules, and as we are people of NASA we are not satisfied, we cannot be told to go back for elections (until) the legalities have been solved," said one protester.

"The guys who gave us a sham election that was nullified by the supreme court, they are still there. And then they keep telling us that nobody was personally held culpable," said another.

The drama is stoking major worries among ordinary people about the wider impact the saga is having on the country and the impact on daily life. "It is taking our country back. You can see the business, how it is. Everything is at a stand-still, and we feel like we don't know the way forward," said one Nairobi resident.

"I am scared of where the country is heading, and I'd hate for us to get to where other countries in Africa are, because we're actually doing very well for ourselves as compared to other countries in Africa but if we keep going, we are done as a country. So we need to all come together as Kenyans and just tell these people to stop," said another resident.

The electoral commission is expected to soon declare whether or not the scheduled October 26 poll will take place. To add to the uncertainty, a court on Wednesday ordered that six other candidates from the August election be allowed to rejoin the race.

--Reuters--

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