22 September 2017

Kenya: Raila Odinga - 'No Electoral Changes, No Election in Kenya'


Nairobi — Kenya's opposition candidate Raila Odinga has told DW that some changes need to take place at the electoral commission if he is to take part in the repeat election set for October 26. President Uhuru Kenyatta disagrees. In its final ruling, Kenya's Supreme Court blamed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for releasing unverified presidential results. The court annulled President Uhuru Kenyatta's victory and ordered a repeat of the presidential election within 60 days. NASA's presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga spoke exclusively to DW's Dotto Bulendu about the stalemate surrounding the repeat election.

How satisfied are you with the final ruling by Kenya's Supreme Court?

I am totally satisfied with the ruling because it completely annulled the fake [presidential] election victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta which took place on August 8. The court also ordered that a fresh election be conducted within 60 days. So I can say that the decision is a historic one not only in Kenya but also the entire African continent. It signaled that the era of electoral fraud in presidential elections is coming to an end.

And you don't have any other lingering complaints?

The complaints have to do with the preparation of the repeat election, we [NASA opposition coalition], have made it clear that we don't want to be part of the election, if the system that was used to steal the election has not been rectified.

What precisely is it that you would wish to see changed so that you can be part of the repeat election?

We have said that we need to see changes at IEBC. Those who were involved in electoral fraud must be charged in accordance with Kenyan law and those companies that were involved in these matters, such as the company which was responsible for providing technological systems for the transmission of election results (Safran Morpho), as well as the one that was contracted to print ballot papers (Al-Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company), be removed and those contracts be given to other companies.

So, if President Uhuru Kenyatta's government fails to carry out those changes you have just mentioned, you will not be on the ballot?

Those changes are a must. The court ordered IEBC to conduct the election as stipulated in our constitution, if they [IEBC] fail to do so and a legal challenge ends at the Supreme Court again, they said they will do the same thing and annul the results. I don't think they have a choice. The IEBC must undertake the changes that we have put forward.

Your main rival, President Uhuru Kenyatta insists that there will be no changes at the IEBC and if that were to happen then the Supreme Court will also require changes. Don't you think this stalemate could postpone or affect the re-run election?

We are not asking the government because we are opposing the government. The government would not like to see these changes made. But what we are saying is that the IEBC must be transformed into an independent institution by making those reforms. If not, they will conduct the election for themselves; it will not be an election by the Kenyan people. Not only will we boycott, but such an election will not happen.

What do you mean by that?

There will be no election because if Kenyans won't take part, it will probably be conducted in one or two regions and not all the regions of Kenya. Therefore, it will not be an election for the entire Republic of Kenya.

What about the gubernatorial, senatorial and the election of members of parliament are you content with those results or will you challenge them in court in the hope of having them nullified?

The [election] irregularities took place at all levels not just the presidential election. They stole many votes in the gubernatorial race; they hatched that plot to create the impression that they have many governors, senators, lawmakers, so on and so forth. We have already lodged our complaints at the court. We have many petitions.

Kenya election 'neither transparent nor verifiable': DW's Kathryn Omwandho from Nairobi

Raila Odinga is the NASA presidential candidate.


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