Raila: “We Want a Third Election by August 2018”

February 8, 2018

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has called for a third presidential poll within six months.

According to the National Super Alliance (NASA) leader, a “fresh election is the only solution to the ongoing political circus.”

Raila was speaking during an interview in the no-holds-barred BBC Hardtalk programme hosted by Zeinab Badawi. He told Badawi that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government was illegally in office and was blatantly violating the Constitution by arresting NASA leaders, shutting media houses and suspending their passports.

“Uhuru Kenyatta does not have legitimacy because in the October 26 elections only less than 20 per cent of registered voters turned up. We want a third election, according to our timetable by August 2018,” said Raila.

“That purported election was a coup de tat and a result of electoral autocracy. Kenyans are suffering under this corrupt and dictatorial regime because of the flawed electoral process that we must change.”

In the three-minute clip of the interview, Raila told Badawi he had no plans of forming a cabinet but will create a people’s convention to deliberate on issues from the regional assemblies.

“I did not say we will appoint ministers. What I meant to say is we have set it out very clearly that we started out with forming the people’s assemblies in various regions and we have had basically meetings and they have passed resolutions which will be taken to the people’s convention,” he said.

Raila also denied committing treason following his swearing-in ceremony last month, telling Zeinab Badawi he did not recognise the legitimacy of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“We will not go to remove Uhuru Kenyatta from State House, he can sit comfortably. We know how we are going to remove him,” he said.

As for the convention, Raila said: “We are invoking the provisions of Article 1 of our Constitution. What we are doing now is setting up a people’s convention having taking oath as a people’s president.”

Odinga’s recent remarks are a turnabout on his January 18 remarks during an interview on Voice of America (VOA). The former Prime Minister told VOA that the Opposition was mooting plans to form a cabinet after his January 30 swearing-in, insisting he was ready to do it even in exile.

“We can even be a government in exile, one that works from outside. It has happened in other countries. What we are saying is that Kenyans can no longer allow an illegitimate government not elected by the people to rule them. We will work like a government, we will form a Cabinet and we will work as a government,” Raila said in the Swahili interview.

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