Kenyan Opposition Leader Withdraws From Election Rerun

KENYA: Police teargas opposition protesters as US express worry ahead of presidential poll

Kenyan's opposition leader Raila Odinda has been berated by worldwide relations analyst, Dr. Vladimir Antwi for withdrawing from the country's upcoming presidential election re-run.

Odinga said he was not giving up entirely, but that his move was the only way to ensure a free and fair election.

The court then ordered the election be rerun on October 26.

With three weeks to go until a scheduled new election, politicians from both sides have traded insults and accusations, raising fears of further turmoil in Kenya, a transport and economic hub for East Africa.

The elections body - the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had slated October 26 for the repeat vote between incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and Odinga.

The original August 8 elections, the National Super Alliance had charged soon after the results were announced in favor of President Uhuru Kenyatta, was marred with technical irregularities and hacking.

The commissioner has tweeted that it will communicate the way forward following the new developments.

In a related development, Kenyan opposition legislators said they would boycott parliament over proposed election law amendments in advance of the election re-run.

"The real questions are not questions of law", he said.

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Kenya is in "uncharted waters", said Murithi Mutiga, senior analyst with the International Crisis Group.

Shortly after Odinga made his announcement, President Uhuru Kenyatta took the stage at a political rally in Western Kenya.

"Democracy is for all and no single individual can stand in the way of the democratic right of the people" said the President. "And the people of Kenya will have the right to choose and determine who their leader shall be".

Since the elections of August 8, Kenya has been on edge.

The NASA leader announced he will no longer participate in the October 26 election as ordered by the Supreme Court.

Furthermore, Odinga argued that the amendments are meant to legalise and regularise the illegalities that led to the invalidation of the August 8 election.

The coalition co-principal Musalia Mudavadi stated that the withdrawal will provide enough time for the electoral commission to hold fresh elections. The electoral board has balked at most of those changes and Odinga insisted he would not take part in an election that would repeat the mistakes of the previous one.

But Odinga challenged the outcome of the elections, accusing IEBC of organising what he called a shambolic election "in a manner that violated constitutional and legal provisions".

Kenyan police were blamed for a third of more than 1 100 deaths in 2007 when the country faced its deadliest ever post election dispute.

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