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Raila: Why I pulled out of repeat election

By Rawlings Otieno | Published Thu, October 12th 2017 at 00:00, Updated October 12th 2017 at 00:17 GMT +3
Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa (right) hugs NASA leader Raila Odinga after the press conference at the Okoa Kenya secretariat on Tuesday. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard]

In summary

  • Opposition leader claims ballot papers being printed at a godown in Industrial Area
  • He says move was not meant to create a political crisis to force a coalition government

Opposition chief Raila Odinga has explained that he did not withdraw from the election to create a political crisis to force a coalition government.

He said he took the decision because he did not want the culture of stolen elections to continue in the country.

Raila explained that his pulling out of the race was meant to push for a free and fair electoral process in the country now and in future elections.

"I don’t have to always be on the ballot, but I want my candidate or whoever will be on the ballot to participate in a free and fair contest. There is no need of going to an election whose outcome is already predetermined,” said Raila.

In an interview with a local radio station yesterday, the National Super Alliance (NASA) leader claimed they had information that the ballot papers were being printed at a godown in Industrial Area.

"What they wanted to do is mark and stuff them in ballot boxes and say these are the votes. That is one of the reasons we withdrew. We cannot go to an election whose outcome is already known," said Raila.

Raila made the remarks a day after he withdrew from the October 26 repeat race, saying the electoral agency had stonewalled on any attempts to initiate reforms necessary for a free, fair, credible, transparent and verifiable election.

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NASA had given the electoral commission 11 irreducible minimum demands which it wanted addressed before agreeing to participate in the fresh election.

The repeat election was called after the Supreme Court on September 1 annulled President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win at the August 8 polls.

The Opposition leader also accused Jubilee Party of buying defectors who lost in the election to make it look like it has the numbers.

The NASA chief later yesterday travelled to the UK where he will give a lecture at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House tomorrow, before jetting back on Saturday.

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