Raila delays speech on ‘way forward’ to Wednesday

August 15, 2017 4:03 pm
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Raila delays speech on ‘way forward’ to Wednesday/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – National Super Alliance (NASA) candidate Raila Odinga has postponed his address on the way forward on the outcome of the presidential election, citing the need for further consultations with his co-principals.

According to the NASA camping committee chieftain, Musalia Mudavadi, talks between Odinga and the other three alliance co-principals who include his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, outgoing Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto (Chama Cha Mashinani) and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula (Forum for Restoration of Democracy – Kenya) were at an advanced stage and an announcement should be expected on Wednesday.

“Owing to the urgency, complexity and delicate nature of issues NASA Summit is handling, our consultations are ongoing and progressing well,” Mudavadi, the Amani National Congress party leader, wrote in a dispatch to newsrooms on Tuesday as the nation awaited Odinga’s statement.

“We regret that the consultations are taking longer than anticipated and NASA will therefore not address Kenyans as projected today,” he added pledging a comprehensive statement.

Odinga’s fourth bid for the presidency, the second on an Orange Democratic Movement party flopped after President Uhuru Kenyatta defeated him for the second time garnering 8.2 million votes against the Opposition leader’s 6.7 million votes.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries (IEBC) Commission Friday declared President Kenyatta the winner of the presidential election held last Tuesday amid protests by Odinga who at some point went to the National Tallying Centre where he asked the Commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati to defer declaration of the presidential election outcome.

Odinga claimed the poll results were manipulated, arguing that IEBC servers had been hacked, an allegation refuted by the electoral commission.

The Opposition has found itself in a tight corner since the declaration of the results which led to pockets of violent demonstration in parts of Nairobi and Kisumu, even as reputed international observer missions gave the poll a clean bill of health.

On Sunday, the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres joined global leaders in commending President Kenyatta on his re-election, urging aggrieved parties to seek legal redress.

“The Secretary-General takes note of the results of the presidential election in Kenya, and of the announcement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of His Excellency Mr Uhuru Kenyatta as President-elect. He calls on those political leaders disputing the elections results to address election-related disputes through the relevant constitutionally mandated institutions,” the statement by Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujarric read.

Guterres condemned violent demonstrations urging all political leaders to prevail upon their supporters to deter the escalation of a crisis.

“The Secretary-General calls on the political leaders to send clear messages to their supporters urging them to refrain from violence. The Secretary-General also stresses the importance of dialogue to defuse tensions,” he urged.

Odinga’s allies had ruled out filing a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge the election results but insiders say this could still be an option.

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