In Summary
  • According to Nasa MPs, an election will only be legitimate with the participation of Nasa candidates, hence holding the polls on October 26 will be null and void.

  • President Kenyatta has insisted that the October 26 fresh elections must go ahead with or without Mr Odinga’s participation.

The National Super Alliance on Wednesday announced it had increased the frequency of mass protests from three days every week to daily.

The alliance also sought to clarify that its flagbearer Raila Odinga had only pulled out of the October 26 election but not the presidential race.

The opposition leaders, speaking at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, insisted that an election can only be held in 90 days and after their demands for poll reforms are met.

They said the withdrawal of Mr Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka from the October 26 polls, was not an abandonment of the race to State House but was merely meant to force the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission to begin the process from scratch and give it time to respond to the reform demands.

PRE-DETERMINED

Siaya Senator James Orengo, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and former Machakos senator Johnson Muthama, while leading the demonstrations alongside a host of Nasa elected leaders, accused the IEBC of failing to act on their demands and instead opting to conduct a repeat election whose outcome they said was pre-determined.

Nasa supporters protest

Nasa supporters protest along Haile Selassie Avenue, Nairobi, on October 11, 2017. The opposition coalition is calling for IEBC reforms before October 26 presidential repeat polls. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“This is a battle that we must win. On Friday, we will begin with a rally at Uhuru Park and proceed with the protests,” said Mr Orengo. “The law allows every Kenyan the right to protest if the government interferes with rights.”

According to the MPs, an election will only be legitimate with the participation of Nasa candidates, hence holding the polls on October 26 will be null and void.

“And beginning Monday next week, we will hold daily demonstrations across the country. It should be known that Raila Odinga did not abandon his quest for the presidency but only withdrew from the October 26 race,” said Mr Orengo, adding that President Uhuru Kenyatta was only enjoying temporal incumbency whose tenure will end by November 1, when the 60 days in which the Supreme Court ordered a fresh elections lapse.

JOHN MBADI

Some of the Nasa MPs present at the demonstrations were John Mbadi (Suba), Simba Arati (Dagoretti North), Raphael Wanjala (Budalang’i), Ken Okoth (Kibra), Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino (Embakasi East) and woman representatives Rosa Buyu (Kisumu) and Gladys Wanga of Homa Bay.

Mr Odinga pulled out of the election on Tuesday, accusing the IEBC of failing to address massive missteps identified by the Supreme Court when it annulled the re-election of President Kenyatta on September 1, in a move pundits said plunged the country into political uncertainty.

Nasa supporter protests inside a pool at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, on October 11, 2017.

Nasa supporter protests inside a pool at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, on October 11, 2017. The opposition coalition is calling for IEBC reforms before October 26 presidential repeat polls. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Odinga based his decision on the 2013 ruling by the Justice Willy Mutunga-led Supreme Court on the possible scenarios should a candidate opt out of the presidential race or die before an election is held.

While opinions are divided on the way forward, Mr Odinga has argued that the withdrawal will allow the IEBC more time to act on his demands for reforms, and perhaps force Jubilee MPs to go slow on their decision to amend the electoral laws.

FRESH ELECTIONS

President Kenyatta has, however, insisted that the October 26 fresh elections must go ahead with or without Mr Odinga’s participation.

Mr Joho and former Mr Muthama said the Jubilee administration was hell-bent on rigging the elections in collusion with the electoral commission.

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