AP Interview: Kenyan Opposition Leader Odinga Wants New Vote

NAIROBI, KENYA Warning that Kenya is in “grave danger,” opposition leader Raila Odinga said in an interview with The Associated Press on Sunday that the country’s repeat presidential election was a sham and that a new vote should be held within 90 days.

Low voter turnout in the election on Thursday, a rerun of an August election, indicated that the process wasn’t valid, and the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta is trying to “destroy other institutions of governance in our country,” including the Supreme Court, Odinga said. He had boycotted the vote, saying electoral reform was needed.

Odinga spoke to the AP after deadly clashes between police and opposition supporters in some parts of Kenya since the repeat election, as well as the postponement of voting in several opposition strongholds where polling stations were unable to open because of security problems. The Supreme Court nullified the Aug. 8 vote after finding what it called irregularities and illegalities, prompting sharp criticism from Kenyatta, who had been declared the winner in that vote.

“Our country is in grave danger,” said Odinga, though he affirmed that he was open to dialogue with the Kenyatta camp about holding what he calls a free and fair election.

“We are not unwilling to talk but the agenda will still be the same agenda – how to create a level playing field so that an election can be held in 90 days,” Odinga said in the interview in his Nairobi home. “This is what we will be willing to discuss with them.”

Partial results from polling stations that have been posted on the website of Kenya’s election commission show Kenyatta with wide leads in many areas after Thursday’s vote.

“It was basically Uhuru versus Uhuru,” Odinga said.

Source: Voice of America

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