Kenya opposition leader Raila Odinga fails to disrupt election

Fresh twirl as court orders IEBC to include Aukot in Oct 26 poll

The House, presided over by Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi, passed the amendment barely a day after Raila Odinga, the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition presidential candidate announced that he and his running mate were withdrawing from a repeat of the presidential elections.

"The Commission can not compel a candidate to participate in an election".

Kenya's electoral authorities said that they had not received formal notice that the opposition leader Raila Odinga had quit the presidential race re-run on October 26, so his name would remain on the ballot.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Wednesday said that Raila had not officially pulled out of the race as he was yet to sign Form 24A as required in the electoral regulations.

The opposition view is that a 2013 ruling by the Supreme Court means if any candidate withdraws, the IEBC must conduct fresh poll nominations, beginning the whole process over again.

The results of of those elections were overturned by the Supreme Court, after a lawsuit by the main opponent to President Uhuru Kenyatta, based on fraudulent manipulation when posting the vote-count results on the Web.

Wednesday, the country braced for street protests in Nairobi and Kisumu after Odinga called for demonstrations.

The decision came after High Court Justice Mativo delivered a verdict that all candidates who participated in the General Election held on the August 8, 2017 were entitled to participate as candidates in the fresh presidential election.

Tension between Kenyatta's ruling Jubilee Party and Odinga's opposition party have risen since the initial August election.

His withdrawal created confusion in East Africa's largest economy, with observers wondering how the new election might go forward.

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