NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running Mate Kalonzo Musyoka caught the nation by surprise after announcing withdrawal from the repeat elections that were slated for 26th October. (Read full Raila Odinga withdrawal statement here)
NASA stated that their withdrawal from the re-run polls is due to the electoral commission’s failure to make radical changes that were meant to ensure credibility and transparency. The coalition noted that neither Jubilee nor IEBC disputed credibility of their ‘irreducible minimums’ that were meant to guarantee free, fair and credible polls.
NASA supporters have been staging protests across the country to agitate resignation of IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba. The coalition believes Chiloba was a key player in bungling of the nullified August 8th presidential election results.
The coalition also accused the electoral body of stonewalling “meaningful deliberations on the necessary reforms to ensure that the elections of 26th October are free and fair.”
The NASA statement also stated that Jubilee’s proposed amendments to the election laws are a clear indication the ruling party has no intention in competing on a “level playing field.”
The coalition noted that it is their conviction that their withdrawal is “in the best interest of the country and win-win for everyone.”
Raila’s withdrawal has left many contemplating what’s next for Kenya regarding the presidential election. According to the Article 138(8) (b) of the Elections Act, if a presidential candidate or his deputy dies, or if one candidate withdraws from the race, then the electoral body (IEBC) shall cancel the election and conduct fresh nominations at least 90 days before fresh elections.
NASA stated in their statement that the above provision grants the electoral body ample time to undertake reforms that will ensure it conducts an election that is in strict conformity with the relevant election laws and the Constitution.