11 October 2017

Kenya: IEBC to Announce Way Forward After Raila Withdrawal From Presidential Race

Nairobi — The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is set to make an announcement on the way forward following the withdrawal of NASA leader Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka from the repeat Presidential race.

After the declaration by the opposition leader, the electoral body was holed up in a crisis meeting that sought to chart the next steps that will be taken.

"Following the withdrawal of the NASA presidential candidate, the Commission and the legal team are meeting and will communicate way forward," IEBC stated through its twitter account.

While reading his statement, Odinga accused the IEBC of bad faith and engaging them in a "ping pong game" in its preparation for the repeat polls.

The opposition claimed that the electoral agency had no intention of streamlining the electoral system to conform to the constitution and election laws.

He stated that he cannot participate in the election under the existing circumstances, arguing that the contest cannot be free and fair.

He spoke hours after the electoral commission sent a letter to him informing him that it cannot meet all his demands - including having another firm other than Al Ghurair to print ballot papers and the exit of IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba.

The former Prime Minister pointed out that: "It is unfortunate that international actors who have supported Kenyans in their quest for democracy and good governance are now on the side of appeasing dictatorship in the mistaken belief that it will maintain stability."

Other than the electoral changes by their counterparts in the Jubilee Government, the NASA coalition is opposed to the continued stay of several Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials, AL Ghurair, the firm that printed the ballot papers, among other contentious issues.

According to Odinga, who was accompanied by his co-principals: "The IEBC has refused, neglected or failed to put in place mechanisms to correct these illegalities and irregularities. We deem that the fresh election ordered by the Supreme Court cannot, therefore, be held."

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