Raila Odinga to spell out position on poll results row

Wednesday August 16 2017

Opposition leader Raila Odinga who put off to Wednesday an announcement on his next course of action after he rejected the presidential results of last week’s General Election. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Opposition leader Raila Odinga who put off to Wednesday an announcement on his next course of action after he rejected the presidential results of last week’s General Election. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NATION TEAM
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National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga put off to Wednesday an announcement on his next course of action after he rejected the presidential results of last week’s General Election.

The opposition leader Tuesday chaired a six-hour meeting with his co-principals in Nairobi during which they examined forms 34A and 34B to establish if the results declared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) were consistent with those contained in the forms.

In a statement released shortly after the six-hour meeting, Nasa campaign team leader Musalia Mudavadi said the opposition coalition would make the announcement Wednesday.

“Owing to the urgency, complexity and delicate nature of issues Nasa Summit is handling, our consultations are on going and progressing well,” said Mr Mudavadi.

“We regret that the consultations are taking longer than anticipated and Nasa will, therefore, not address Kenyans as projected today. Nasa will issue a comprehensive statement to the nation tomorrow (Wednesday),” he said.

UN DECLINES REQUEST

Mr Mudavadi spoke as the UN opted to keep off the election results dispute by declining Mr Odinga’s request for a review of the poll.

Spokesman Farhan Haq reiterated Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ recent statement urging Kenyan political leaders to bring election-related disputes to “the relevant constitutionally mandated institutions.”

UNITED STATES

At the same time, the United States described the elections as fair and transparent, further cementing international and local observers’ affirmation that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win was credible.

The Donald Trump-led administration called on Kenyans to maintain peace and resolve disputes through courts.

“The United States congratulates the people of Kenya on the successful conclusion of elections, and President Uhuru Kenyatta on his re-election. We commend the dedication of candidates, officials, and the public to upholding a peaceful, fair, and transparent contest, and we welcome statements by international and domestic observers affirming the credibility of the election,” said the statement by the White House Press Secretary.

The statement comes after former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who co-led the Carter Centre Observer Mission in Kenya, had said they expected victors and losers to work within the rule of law and the legitimate dispute resolution mechanisms.

DETAILED PROCESS

“The IEBC has put in place and has thus far followed a detailed process of paper ballot counting and security which, if followed through to the final steps, can give every Kenyan confidence that their vote was properly recorded and therefore this election can appropriately certify the outcome,” Mr Kerry, who was one state away from being elected US President in 2004, said in a statement.

“This historic election is an important step forward and we urge all Kenyans to unite in peace to continue building their country.  The US will continue to partner with Kenya to secure a prosperous and peaceful future for both of our great nations,” said the statement circulated by the US Embassy in Nairobi.

ASSESS OPTIONS

Tuesday, Nasa co-principal and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula said Nasa leaders had spent the better part of the day holed up in the meeting to assess their options.

“We had a marathon meeting from 9am up to 3pm to discuss several issues. We have scanned through the forms and I can tell you we are very pleased with what we saw,” he stated without giving further details.

APOLOGY

Those in Tuesday’s meeting, included Mr Odinga, Mr Mudavadi, Mr Wetang’ula, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and former Bomet governor Isaac Ruto. Also present was Siaya Senator James Orengo who was Mr Odinga’s deputy chief agent during the election and former Machakos senator Johnson Muthama.

Mr Orengo and Mr Muthama are members of the Nasa Summit, alongside Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu, who was not present.

“Only Eseli was not present but we recorded his apologies as he was attending to other matters,” said Mr Wetang’ula.

On Sunday, while touring Nairobi’s Kibera slum to mourn victims of alleged police brutality following three days of post election protests in various parts of the country, Mr Odinga urged his supporters not to report to work on Monday but instead wait for a major announcement on his next move yesterday. 

Mr Orengo has repeatedly stated that Mr Odinga will not lodge a petition at the Supreme Court challenging President Kenyatta’s victory, terming it an exercise in futility.

MASS ACTION

A source who attended Tuesday’s meeting said Nasa principals were divided over the next course of action, with one group preferring a call to mass action to push their cause while another was opposed to such a move.

The anti-mass action group was of the view that they should avoid a confrontational approach that might lead to deaths and injuries, which will be ultimately blamed on them.

They also argued that such an approach, besides being sure to achieve very little, will take away any support they have from the international community.

NO COURT PETITION

The meeting was, however, unanimous that filing a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge the results was out of the question.

“They all agree that it is not the way to go, given past experience,” said the source.

The principals also agreed with Mr Odinga that conceding defeat would not only amount to “endorsing a stolen election” but would perpetuate such malpractice in future.

Speaking on Monday, President Kenyatta tried to draw a line under the election and its aftermath, saying: “Kenyans have said that the election is behind them, the majority have returned to work.”