On the 8th August Kenyans woke up to the queue to choose their next leader in the presidential elections, after two days Jubillee’s Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner with 54%, the results that saw him beating his major opponent Raila Odinga with a margin of 10%.
National Super Alliance of Kenya’s candidate Raila Odinga contested the results, decided to go to court claiming the elections were not fair, characterized by irregularities and that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC) servers happen to have been hacked; The Supreme Court judges scrunitised both sides, on 1st September the court came up with their ruling that saw Uhuru’s re-election nullified and declared 17th October date for re-run of the presidential elections with only Jubilee and NASA’s candidates contesting; question remains what’s next for Kenyans?
In just ten days to the re-run of presidential polls, NASA’s flag bearer Raila Odinga announced his withdrawal from the race citing that there is no intentions from IEBC to make things right curbing for irregularities and illegalities in the 26th October elections that had also led to the nullification of 8th August polls; he also accused the international actors of siding with the leading party in what he called a mistaken belief to bring democracy and restore stability in the country.
NASA Coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga (R) with and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka
On the other hand, while on a vote hunt in Taita-Taveta County, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto welcomed Raila’s decision, saying that it’s a good move for him and his coalition NASA, that if the journey has become too tough for them, they should relax; other leaders who have reacted to Raila’s decision include National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale who said repeat polls will still be held and Uhuru Kenyatta will be declared winner, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko holds the same view that Kenyatta should be sworn in after Raila’s withdrawal. Erupt
Kenyans were left in dilemma after Raila quitted the repeat polls, there is fear that violent protests could erupt mostly in NASA’s strongholds Nyanza, Coast, Lower Eastern and Western regions; the current leadership assured Kenyans security and warned anyone one with iniquity plots to destabilise the country.
Article 138 of the Constitution contains detailed rules on how elections must be conducted and when; the same Article has a provision that if only one candidate is nominated for the presidency, he or she can be sworn in as president; in other words the incumbent could be declared winner.
The IEBC has given green light for other candidates to contest in fresh polls, under High Court order the commission was ordered to call all eight presidential aspirants for the re-run; main opposition leader Raila Odinga to be included on the ballot paper as well though he declared his withdraw from the election; he can only be removed after filling Form 24A as stated by the electoral law; so far the High Court also cleared Thirdway Alliance presidential candidate Dr Ekuru Aukot to also run.
NASA’s Raila says he is ready for talks over free and fair repeat polls, a request that was rebuffed by the ruling party saying that, there won’t be talks until after repeat polls.
If no other candidate shows up for repeat polls, Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta might run uncontested in fresh polls on 26th October or be declared winner as (1) of Article 138 of the constitution stipulates.
Question remains what is next after Raila’s withdrawal and his “No Reform, No Election” Call for protest countrywide, should we expect 2007 scenario? Will repeat elections occur or not? Will Uhuru Kenyatta and Ekuru Aukot contest alone? Will IEBC declare one and only candidate Uhuru Kenyatta winner of presidential polls? What’s next for the IEBC after one of the electoral body commissioners, Roselyne Akombe resigned and fled the country?
Sam A. Sewanyana (Jnr) is political Analysis and IT Expert
The Express News