Raila Odinga Kenya opposition leader to use pickets, petitions to protest Oct. 26 re-run election

Odinga said in a long-awaited television address that he would convene a “People’s Assembly” to try to improve governance.

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Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga plunged the country into uncharted waters by saying he was pulling out of a presidential race re-run play

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga plunged the country into uncharted waters by saying he was pulling out of a presidential race re-run

(AFP/File)
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Kenya opposition leader Raila Odinga said on Tuesday he would use pickets and petitions to protest the Oct. 26 presidential rerun.

Odinga said in a long-awaited television address that he would convene a “People’s Assembly” to try to improve governance but made no mention of challenging the result.

“We will guard our right to dissent by exercising it,” Odinga said.

He emphasised that he wanted to limit his protests to well-recognised, legal avenues.

Odinga, is a veteran politician who has now lost his fourth election.

Uhuru Kenyatta’s Monday night victory in a speech to loyalists from his Luo tribe some time after 0700 GMT.

After a disputed election in 2007, around 1,200 people were killed in clashes between rival ethnic gangs that also led to a prolonged slump in the region’s biggest and most important economy.

On the other hand, Odinga could limit his appeal to the courts, as he did in 2013, and yield to diplomatic pressure to engage in post-election ‘national dialogue’ with his arch political rival.

The announcement of Kenyatta’s victory, by a margin of 98 per cent due to an Odinga boycott on the grounds the election was not free or fair, provoked anger in pro-Odinga slums, whose residents burnt tire barricades and threw rocks at police.

Anti-riot officers responded with volleys of tear gas, in scenes that have been common in Nairobi’s slums and Odinga strongholds in western Kenya since the first attempt at an election on Aug. 8.

That vote was annulled by the Supreme Court on the basis of procedural irregularities in the vote-tallying.

Odinga argued that the re-run was also flawed because of a failure to replace key officials of the election commission.

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