NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 4 – Despite pressure from the international community – the United Nations, the US, UK and EU diplomatic missions in the country – Opposition leader Raila Odinga remains adamant his terms for participation in a fresh presidential poll be met.
Odinga who has threatened to boycott the planned October 26 poll if his “irreducible minimums” are not met, said he would not be complicit in a sham election.
“You cannot expect us to do the same thing, the same way and expect a different result. You see, we are not trying to take Jubilee to the altar so that we can go and then cheer that they’ve gotten married. Kenyans will not just want any other election, just an election; that’s why we are talking about uchaguzi bora, sio bora uchaguzi,” he said following a meeting with Gusii professionals.
He said the National Super Alliance was not agitating for personnel changes at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission just to be difficult but to ensure that the playing field is level when the two Kenyan political giants square off in a rematch.
He described as posturing Deputy President William Ruto declaration on Tuesday that unlike NASA, they would not peg their participation in the poll on pre-conditions.
“Jubilee will say that they have no problem with IEBC because they know that IEBC declared them the winner. Jubilee was not the complainant, the complainant was us and we’re the ones who discovered the irregularities and illegalities that informed the Supreme Court decision to nullify the August 8 exercise,” he said.
Top on their list of demands therefore, is the exit of IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba and 10 others whom they hold responsible for bungling of the August 8 presidential election.
And in pursuit of which, Odinga said on Tuesday, the coalition would remain steadfast in its resolve to demonstrate not withstanding disapproval from the Western powers.
On Monday, representatives of the governments of the United States, United Kingdom and European Union advised against the protests which they viewed as a political class attempt to strong-arm the IEBC into doing their bidding.
“If IEBC personnel are to be removed, it should only be done by the appropriate authorities and be consistent with the law and relevant regulations,” they advised on meeting the IEBC.
Any demands of the IEBC, the stated, should be reasonable and take into consideration the restrictive constraints under which the Commission is trying to get the job of a fresh presidential poll done.
To be fair, they also faulted the Jubilee Party’s mission to have the electoral law altered just days to the gazetted rematch.
They consider it foolhardy for the party to change the rules to the game while still smarting from the Supreme Court blow.