On Tuesday the Kenya’s number citizen, Kenyatta Uhuru reiterated that he is more than ready to contest the repeat presidential election, whether opposition leader Raila Odinga was in the ballot or not.
Kenyatta’s comments came following Odinga’s official withdrawal from the race earlier on.
Raila announced he was withdrawing his candidature from the October 26 poll, citing the electoral body’s refusal to conduct reforms ahead of the vote. However, some Kenyans did not see Odinga’s reason as genuine citing the fact that the opposition leader withdrawal was as a result of campaign fund.
President Uhuru said Kenyans had a right to participate in an election to choose their leader.
“We are ready whether he is there or not. Yesterday he told us it is his democratic right not to participate. We tell him also, it is the people’s right to participate in an election to choose their leader. Whether you are there or not, we are proceeding to the people who have the sovereign right to elect the leader of their choice, he said at a campaign rally in Voi soon after Raila’s statement.
“There is no part in the constitution that says that Raila must be on the ballot. If you are tired with the journey, it’s okay. Take a rest and let others continue,” he added.
The East African country’s August 8 presidential vote was nullified by the Supreme Court on September 1, citing malpractices in the tallying and transmission process.
The court ordered a repeat of the election within 60 days.
The NASA opposition coalition that Odinga leads has however been demanding reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), calling for weekly mass protests to push for the same.
The ruling Jubilee party however dismisses NASA’s demands, saying they were an attempt to bully IEBC into doing things their way.
President Uhuru questioned Odinga’s motive in withdrawing from the vote.