World turns spotlight on Raila Odinga after Kenya elections
A powerful spotlight rests on opposition leader Raila Odinga to calm his supporters in the wake of his loss in the just concluded General Election.
A Sunday editorial by The New York Times says it is imperative that Mr Odinga, who has said he will announce his next course of action on Tuesday, leaves a better legacy for himself by respecting the Constitution.
“At 72, he might mull the idea that a display of respect for the new Constitution would be a far better legacy than another bloody spasm of violence,” the paper’s editorial board reads in part.
The newspaper warns that Mr Odinga’s “unsubstantiated claims” that the election was stolen in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta who was reelected have “already touched off rioting in parts of the country, and the violence could spread”.
“International monitors from the African Union, the United States and Europe said they witnessed no foul play; former United States Secretary of State John Kerry, co-leader of the Carter Center’s mission of election observers, praised Kenya’s election commission for its transparency and diligence.
“All observers have urged Mr Odinga and other losing candidates to refer any allegations of fraud to the commission and the courts,” the editorial, titled The Real Suspense in Kenya, says.
President Kenyatta was on Friday night declared the winner of the 2017 presidential election at a ceremony held at Bomas of Kenya, the national tallying centre.
Declaring the results, the Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Mr Wafula Chebukati that Mr Kenyatta had garnered 8,203,290 votes, representing 54.27 per cent of the votes cast.
His win and that of his deputy William Ruto has been gazetted.
The ODM and Nasa candidate, Mr Raila Odinga, came in second with 6,762,224 votes, representing 44.74 per cent of the votes cast.
In total, 15,073,662 people cast their votes, representing 78.91 per cent of the registered voters.
Mr Kenyatta also garnered more than 25 per cent of the votes cast in 35 counties, compared to Mr Odinga who got over 25 per cent in 29 counties.
Pressure by international observers has continued to pile on Mr Odinga to concede defeat in the election but he has accused the envoys of arm-twisting him into giving credibility to a product of “fraud”.
Source: Daily Nation