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Kenyan opposition leader rejects new presidential election, demands 'guarantees' against fraud

Kenyan opposition leader rejects new presidential election, demands 'guarantees' against fraud”

According to official returns issued by the electoral commission last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta easily won reelection, receiving 54 per cent of the vote to Odinga's 45 per cent.

He said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had set the new election date after consulting only Kenyatta's Jubilee grouping and not Odinga's National Super Alliance (NASA).

"There will be no elections on the 17th of October until the conditions that we have spelt out in the statement are met", Odinga said. "We demand nothing less than a fully transparent and accountable electoral process".

At least 33 court cases were filed contesting election results before the presidential election was annulled, said Andrew Limo, spokesman for the election board.

The ruling, the first time in Africa that a court had overturned the re-election of a sitting president, was hailed by Odinga supporters as "historic". The country is the world's largest shipper of black tea and a regional hub for companies including Google Inc. and Coca-Cola Co.

The judiciary said in a statement that by Tuesday a total 66 cases had been filed before various courts challenging the outcomes of such seats countrywide. The group will be led by a project coordinator, Marjan Hussein Marjan, and includes new heads of operations, logistics, training, legal, information technology and the national tallying center, he said.

The current crop of IEBC commissioners took office only seven months before the election, after their predecessors were forced to step down following widespread protests.

The commission had said on Monday that it would revise the "operational and procedural requirements for the conduct of the fresh election" soon. He asked for the Supreme Court to issue a detailed judgement "in order to allow the commission to identify areas that require improvement in the management of the fresh election".

The Kenyan shilling has weakened every day since the ruling and closed at 103.25 against the dollar on Tuesday.

Odinga's conditions for participating in the repeat presidential election included the removal of six officials at the election board.

The electoral commission has vowed to make "internal changes" ahead of the new vote, though its chairman, Wafula Chebukati, ruled out resigning himself.

Odinga's NASA is also demanding personnel change at the IEBC Secretariat, saying some of the staff colluded to steal the elections in favor of Kenyatta.

Odinga has lost the last three presidential elections.

Kenyatta had been declared the victor of the election on 11 August, with 54 per cent of the vote.

Supreme Court Chief Justice David Maraga said "irregularities and illegalities" had been committed by the electoral body in the vote.

Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling, Kenyatta said he regretted that "six people have decided they will go against the will of the people" but said that he would not dispute the judgment. The president reiterated Tuesday that while he respects the court, he didn't agree with its ruling.

Speaking on the same matter, Kalonzo Musyoka said that IEBC needed to have checked on the provisions of article 140 of the constitutions before reaching on providing date for the polls.

It is "an erroneous interpretation of the law that only two candidates will participate in a fresh election", Odinga said.



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