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Raila asks Uhuru to withdraw from race, accuses Jubilee of intimidating IEBC officials

By Roselyne Obala | Published Sat, September 9th 2017 at 00:00, Updated September 8th 2017 at 22:20 GMT +3
Opposition Chief Raila Odinga addresses a rally in Machakos town. (Photo: Pius Cheruiyot/Standard)

IN SUMMARY

  • Raila claimed Jubilee Party was intimidating and harassing people deemed to be against them since Chief Justice Maraga ordered IEBC to conduct fresh elections within 60 days
  • He said the situation at the electoral agency is shaky and alleged that some commissioners have received threatening e-mails and their security has been withdrawn

Opposition Chief Raila Odinga Friday asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to resign and disqualify himself from the presidential contest as a matter of honour and principle.

The NASA leader also claimed Jubilee Party was intimidating and harassing people deemed to be against them since Chief Justice David Maraga ordered IEBC to conduct fresh elections within 60 days.

"Uhuru should do the right thing which is honourable and civilised, resign, since he did not win the presidential contest. Buying individuals and threatening others to impose himself on Kenyans will not work. We want transparency in the electoral process," he said.

Raila alleged that things had fallen apart at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). He said the situation at the electoral agency is shaky and alleged that some commissioners have received threatening e-mails and their security has been withdrawn.

"It is very serious. The government is threatening the commissioners and the mails sent also touch on their lives. This is a dangerous situation," said Raila.

Saturday Standard could not independently verify those claims because no documents were shared and neither has any member of the commission complained about withdrawal of their security detail.

On Friday, Raila said NASA had decided to give IEBC time to put their house in order amid claims that memos and e-mails were still flying within the commission.

But speaking in Kericho while receiving former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto who defected from NASA to Jubilee, President Kenyatta dismissed Raila, saying he was acting out of fear that Jubilee will beat him again.

Uhuru asked Raila to simply declare that he is not interested in elections because he is incapable of winning.

"If Raila doesn't want any elections he should say so instead of issuing threats and conditions to independent bodies. We are tired," he said amid cheers from supporters. "I am warning him because I am still the President and he is just a presidential candidate, not the President. He must know his place".

The President also warned IEBC to stop the drama and instead concentrate on preparing for the October 17 elections.

Both NASA and Jubilee were scheduled to hold a meeting with IEBC officials on Thursday, but the meeting flopped after Jubilee demanded a joint meeting involving the Opposition.

Drama ensued at IEBC after Chairman Wafula Chebukati sent an explosive memo to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ezra Chiloba demanding answers to 12 issues he had raised.

Raila said he wants a face to face meeting with Uhuru should he choose to attend consultative meetings at IEBC.

"Our team will be ready to meet with IEBC when it's ready. I will attend if the Jubilee candidate also attends. I am ready for any discussion since the commission is in a grave situation," he said.


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