Capital FM (Nairobi)

8 April 2013

Kenya: Raila, Top Cord Leaders to Skip Uhuru Fete

Nairobi — The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has said that it will boycott Tuesday's inauguration of Uhuru Kenyatta as the fourth president of Kenya.

A statement from the Orange Democratic Movement said Prime Minister Raila Odinga, outgoing Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and their CORD co-principal Moses Wetangula - who are in South Africa - will skip the historic event.

"The PM, VP and Wetangula will not attend neither will they send an apology but they wish them (Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto) well with their government," the statement read.

The statement said the coalition was ready to perform its role as the main opposition party in Parliament that would keep Kenyatta's government in check and make it accountable.

The CORD principals left aboard the same flight to South Africa for a four-day sojourn and are expected back in the country on Wednesday, a day after the coronation.

Some CORD MPs had expressed fears that supporters of Kenyatta and Ruto may be tempted to embarrass Odinga and Musyoka just like it happened in 2002, when outgoing President Kibaki took the reins of power from President Moi during a chaotic ceremony at Uhuru Park.

Concern is said to have been expressed at a meeting held at the PM's Karen home last week where the legislators dissuaded the two from attending the high profile event at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani that will be graced by a host of presidents mainly drawn from Africa.

Another group argued that attending Kenyatta's inauguration will be tantamount to endorsing a regime whose ascent to power they disputed.

The Jubilee team of Kenyatta and Deputy President-elect William Ruto defeated the CORD team led by Odinga and running mate Kalonzo Musyoka by garnering 50.07 percent of the votes against Odinga's 43.3 percent.

Odinga disputed the results released by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and took his case to the Supreme Court, whose verdict indicated that the electoral process was broadly credible.

Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia confirmed that the PM is among those invited to the ceremony at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

Ghana underwent a similar situation last year after it went through a bitterly contested election on December 7.

The ruling party's John Mahama was declared the winner with 50.7 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a run-off against the New Patriotic Party's (NPP's) Nana Akufo-Addo.

Addo boycotted Mahama's swearing-in ceremony saying attending it would be seen as validating Mahama's election, which the NPP has contested in court.

LABAN WANAMBISI

Laban Wanambisi is a Parliamentary and Political reporter. He joined the Capital Newsteam in 2005. Since then, he has reported on many of the major news events over the years including his first major assignment covering the 2005 National Referendum on the Draft Constitution, and several other subsequent key national and international events.

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