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Odinga: We would respect the verdict but I believe I won

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After the August 9 Kenya election where William Ruto won against Opposition leader Odinga – there were follow-up controversies from the Odinga camp.

Raila Odinga, Kenya’s opposition leader who has been contesting his loss in August’s presidential election in the Supreme Court, said he will respect the court’s decision but believes he won.

This is Odinga’s fifth presidential bid, and he has blamed previous defeats on rigging, claims that have sparked deadly protests in East Africa’s wealthiest and most stable nation.

Odinga’s legal team filed a case last week alleging that a team working for Deputy President William Ruto hacked into the election system and replaced genuine pictures of polling station result forms with fake ones, increasing Ruto’s share of the vote on Aug. 9.

Ruto, who had already been declared president-elect, after the August 9 election denied the allegations. The election commission has divided its responses and filed competing responses.

The election commission split and filed opposing responses, with four commissioners rejecting the outcome and the chairman and two others supporting it.

Fears of violence have been raised in the aftermath of disputed polls in 2007 when more than 1,200 people were killed, and again in 2017, when more than 100 people were killed.

Odinga claimed to have proof that he had won the election, which requires a candidate to receive 50% plus one vote. He wishes for a recount.

“We should be declared winners,” Odinga told Reuters. “If the courts decide otherwise,” he added, “we will basically respect the ruling of the courts.”

When asked if there were any circumstances under which he would not accept the ruling, he stated that “I don’t want to appear to be attempting to blackmail the Supreme Court. I’d like the Supreme Court to hear this case fairly… I’m not going to speculate.”

Any unrest in Kenya has repercussions throughout the region. Kenya is an important transportation hub, the regional headquarters for many multinational corporations, and has frequently hosted talks for more volatile neighbours such as South Sudan and Somalia.

Odinga’s petition also claimed that the results were invalid because they were announced by the chairman rather than the entire commission. Odinga said he wanted the chairman replaced.

He claimed that “corrupt cartels” had captured Kenya and that he would devote his future political life – whether in government or opposition – to fighting corruption by demanding lifestyle audits for officials and scrutinizing procurement contracts.

In his legal response, Ruto called Odinga’s suit “full of sound and fury” and “much ado about nothing.” He accused Odinga of forging computer logs in order to instigate a constitutional crisis and force a power-sharing agreement.

In his court response, the chairman of the election commission stated that the elections were “free, fair, and credible.” The dissident commissioners have filed a response, raising concerns about the counting process and the chairman’s behaviour.

Since August 9, the opposition has gathered enough evidence for the court appearances. And on the 5th of September, the Supreme court ruled in favour of William Ruto.

Also read:  Kenya election: Court rules in favor of William Ruto

This would go down in history as one of the many attempts Odinga has made since his Presidential ambitions.


Source: Reuters


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