It is now emerging that Raila Odinga's withdrawal from the October 26 rerun of the presidential election is carefully timed to jell with the opposition’s fresh push for electoral reform on a grander scale.
On Tuesday, October 10, the opposition announced that anti-IEBC demos, now in their third week, would now be bigger starting on Wednesday.
According to Odinga's confidant James Orengo, the protests resume in Nairobi from Uhuru Park, a move calculated to attract a mammoth crowd as has been the case in the past.
With the demos clarion call being “ No Reforms, No Election,” it is clear that they are aimed at stopping the October 26 election should circumstances dictate that they must be held as directed by the Supreme Court of Kenya.
The push could also be aimed at forcing a fresh presidential election in terms acceptable to NASA.
They are also possibly designed to be a war of attrition with a view to wearing down Jubilee into accepting the opposition’s agenda which might not be easily forthcoming considering the hardline stances adopted by both sides.
In the wake of reports that Raila was to leave the country for London on Wednesday, it is not clear whether he will participate in the Wednesday’s protests, as it emerges that the London trip could have been a red herring to catch Jubilee off guard.
In the past three weeks protest have been held in Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Voi, Vihiga, Kakamega, Bungoma and Busia counties. Mild ones were held in the Kalonzo strongholds of Kitui and Machakos.
Indications that NASA was not keen on the poll became clear when NASA went slow on campaigns as Jubilee burnt the midnight oil in its strongholds and vote-swing regions.
Raila has not shown up in the past three twice-a-week demonstrations as has Kalonzo who has cited the withdrawal of bodyguards as the main reason.
Before NASA filed its successful petition at the Supreme Court, Raila had indicated that NASA would employ mass protests to force electoral reform.