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Kenyan Opposition MPs Boycott Uhuru Kenyatta’s Speech

Opposition MPs in Kenya have boycotted the opening of the new parliament to protest against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to address it after a court annulled his election win.

 

The opposition NASA coalition said that parliament should not have been convened until after the repeat election scheduled for 17 October.

The MPs instead joined their leader Raila Odinga for a campaign rally in the capital, Nairobi. Uhuru however said he had the power to convene parliament as he is still president until a new one is sworn in.

“The set term of a president is embedded until a new one is sworn in as per the constitution,” he said in his address on Tuesday afternoon. “I want to assure every Kenyan and the world that every arm of government is in place and operational,” he added.

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Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared Uhuru Kenyatta winner of the 8 August vote with 54% ahead of Odinga’s 44%.

The long-serving opposition figure then filed a petition at the Supreme Court, arguing that the vote had been marred by electoral fraud.

The Supreme Court, after two weeks of legal process, ruled that the result be nullified and a fresh election conducted.

President Uhuru in his reaction to that ruling said he accepted the ruling but did not agree with it.

The president, who has been critical of the judges, said in his parliamentary speech that their decision had overturned the voters’ will.  He also repeated his strong disapproval of the ruling but again said he respects it.

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