The Vice President of Kenya William Ruto has declared that opposition leader Raila Odinga pulled out of the forthcoming run-off elections not for reasons of principle but to avoid inevitable defeat.
“Odinga is running away from a humiliating defeat,” Ruto told journalists. “He has to find this excuse and that excuse and the other excuse to try and justify his exit.”
He said the government wants Odinga to run but could not force him. “Legitimacy is a matter that concerns us and it concerns us because we believe in a democracy,” he said.
Odinga was due to face President Uhuru Kenyatta on Oct. 26 in a repeat of a presidential vote held in August but he withdrew his candidacy, saying the electoral commission had failed to institute reforms to guarantee fairness.
Kenya has been hit with turmoil and social strife especially in the western part of the country with two opposition supporters demanding reforms ahead of fast approaching elections gunned down by policemen about three days ago.
Reports say the incident which claimed the lives of the two victims happened when angry opposition supporters in Kisumu hurled rocks at a police station, while officers used tear gas on demonstrators.
The mounting political turmoil in the East African country has also forced authorities to ban protests in central Nairobi and other hotspots as the re-scheduled political re-run fast approaches.
Reports say the order also covered the opposition stronghold of Kisumu and the port of Mombasa – the scenes of repeated demonstrations since the Supreme Court annulled the last vote in August, citing irregularities.
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