Raila Odinga travels to UK for democracy forum

Thursday October 12 2017

 Raila Odinga

Nasa leader Raila Odinga. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PETER LEFTIE
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Nasa leader Raila Odinga left the country Wednesday night for the United Kingdom where he is expected to give an address on the political situation in Kenya.

Mr Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango told Nation.co.ke that the Nasa leader will address a public forum at Chatham House, Royal Institute of International Affairs - an independent policy institute based in London.

“He left the country last night for the UK,” Mr Onyango said.

SURPRISE

He added that they expected the Nasa leader back in the country on Saturday morning.

Mr Odinga’s departure last night caught many by surprise as it had been expected that he would travel Thursday night. His advisor Salim Lone had earlier in the week told the media that Mr Odinga would leave the country tonight just in time to address the forum dubbed Kenya’s Next Test; Democracy, Elections and the Rule of Law Research.

“He will be in London for a day and half. He will leave Nairobi on Thursday night to be in London in time for the event that begins in the afternoon,” Mr Lone was quoted.

Mr Odinga, who has since withdrawn from the October 26 repeat presidential election citing IEBCs failure to put in place reforms necessary for a free, fair and credible election is expected to discuss the Supreme Court ruling that nullified the August 8 election and the reforms the Opposition would like to see ahead of a new election.

“The withdrawal does not affect Mr Odinga's forthcoming UK trip, where he will give an address at Chatham House, and hold discussions with current and former British ministers and other leading figures. Indeed, news of his withdrawal will make this visit help focus even more attention on the need for Kenya's friends to help counsel against the rapidly diminishing space for free and fair elections and the rule of law,” Mr Lone said in a statement.