Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Monday, 23 Oct 2017 14:45 EAT
NASA brigade led by presidential candidate Raila Odinga today met ambassdors of the western powers and stood ground that with three days to the election there is nothing that can change in the electoral infrastructure.
Raila, accompanied by NASA principals Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula and the coalition's lead lawyer James Orengo, reaffirmed that they will not participate in the repeat election because it doesn’t serve the country’s best interest.
The meeting, according to a statement by chairman, NASA National Campaign Committee, Musalia Mudavadi focused on the situation in the country in the lead to October 26 when the new presidential election is supposed to be held in Kenya.
The envoys who had requested for the meeting at Raila’s Capitol Hill offices, included ambassadors and high Commissioner of the US, UK, EU, Norway and Denmark. They urged the NASA leader to take in the election and have matters arising from the election addressed after the election.
“At the meeting, NASA reiterated the position that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is not ready to conduct free, fair and credible elections. This has been confirmed by Dr Roselyn Akombe who resigned from the Commission last week and IEBC chairman Mr Wafula Chebukati in his address to the nation also last week.
"We made it clear that if the electoral commission itself is not confident of conducting credible polls, it follows that the said elections can only be sham elections that NASA shall not be part of”, the statement said in part.
Consequently NASA reaffirmed to the country, the international community at large and its supporters in particular that the elections scheduled for 26th do not meet the conditions deduced from the Supreme Court ruling and its subsequent ‘irreducible minimums’.
The western powers have faced criticism about their apparent support for rigged elections in Kenya. Yesterday, the Financial Times of London wrote in a hard-hitting editorial that the west has been unhelpful in the election, "seeming to favour a quick process over a demonstrably fair one."
The envoys were categorical that failure to hold the repeat polls as planned could plunge the country into a constitutional crisis. The diplomats, who have been pushing Jubilee Party of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila’s NASA to drop some of their demands and compromise, have tacitly declared support for the election in recent statements.
NASA’s demand for the sacking of IEBC officials implicated in the bungling of the August elections, as well the cancellation of tenders awarded to printer Al Ghurair and Safran Morpho have not been met. IEBC chief executive officer Ezra Chiloba, having laid the groundwork for the election, was reported to have taken a three-week leave beginning today.
Jubilee on its part has legislated with its majority in parliament a raft of amendments to the electoral laws in a contentious bill that has reduced the powers of IEBC chairman as well as entrench the use of the manual vote transmission system, among other recommendations. The bill is awaiting President Kenyatta’s assent.
NASA has scheduled countrywide anti-IEBC demos starting tomorrow and Wednesday when Raila will make a major announcement on the way forward before the election on Thursday.