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NASA’s Raila rejects October 17 poll date

It was Odinga’s contention that IEBC put the cart before the horse by announcing the fresh election date before reforming its systems/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 5 – National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday faulted the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for declaring a new election date without adequate consultations.

Odinga said the electoral body should have sought their opinion on the matter, given the weighty issues they have raised – including demands for far-reaching reforms before a new election is conducted.

“Therefore we are saying that we will not participate in any election to be held on October 17 without legal and constitutional guarantees. We know what transpired and what the IEBC did. We also know that the result will not be different if IEBC doesn’t meet our demands, “he told a news conference at the Wilson Airport before he led NASA co-principals for a campaign rallies in Kisii and Nyamira Counties.

The NASA leaders accused the poll agency of favouring their competitors in Jubilee Party after they made they made the announcement without consulting them.

Odinga said the IEBC had on Monday telephoned them for a consultative meeting which included JP and other stakeholders to brainstorm and agree on the best possible date for the fresh poll.

He said the poll agency was to moments later cancel the meeting because they holding an internal meeting.

The NASA leaders led by Odinga proposed October 24 or 31 as their preferred date for the fresh elections.

“It is not the date, but the preparations for the election which is important to us. We are urging the IEBC to take steps to meet all stakeholders that is the only way we shall be agreeable to participate in the fresh poll.”

“We do not fear the polls, we were ready yesterday. Contrary to assertions by our competitors, we are not interested in forming a coalition government with them. We will want our own government,” he said.

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Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta has not commented on the new date of October 17, having urged the electoral commission to urgently make the announcement.

The announcement was made hours after Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi pleaded with the electoral commission to set the date no later than October 17 due to the end of year examinations.

The NASA flag-bearer however proposed that the national exams can be pushed back by two weeks because the presidential elections were equally an important national affair.

“There is no harm in delaying the exams by two weeks, the children will not die” said Odinga.

The Supreme Court last week nullified the August 8 presidential poll result and ordered a fresh one within 60 days.

The top court judges led by Chief Justice David Maraga found that IEBC did not conduct the election in accordance with the Constitution and Elections Act.

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