Kenya opposition leader Odinga says he will not share power
By Thomas Mukoya and Andrew Njuguna
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga said on Sunday that his coalition will not share power, two days after the Supreme Court annulled last month’s presidential election and ordered a new poll within 60 days.
The court ruled on Friday that the election board had committed irregularities that rendered the Aug. 8 vote invalid, and overturned incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory.
The ruling set up a new race between Kenyatta, 55, and veteran opponent Odinga, 72, and tension between the two camps has since been rising. “We will not share power,” Odinga said, speaking in Kiswahili outside a church in Nairobi. “We will not divide the loaf,” he said, a local reference to power.
Odinga, who also contested the presidential election in 2007 and 2013, repeated his statement after Friday’s court ruling that the opposition would not participate in the re-run of the poll without changes to the election commission. On Friday he had called for the commission to resign and face criminal prosecution.
Speaking at a rally in Nairobi attended by thousands of his supporters, he said: “We have said that you cannot force Kenyans to go to the polls that (are) being supervised by thieves.
“We will not accept (this),” he said. “We will only go to the elections when we are sure that the ones organising the elections are people who will not side with one side or the other.”
Kenyatta insists the poll should be re-run with the current electoral board.
Though Kenyatta pledged to respect the court’s ruling he has, since Friday, referred to justices as “crooks”.
(Reporting by Thomas Mukoya and Andrew Njuguna; Additional reporting and writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Andrew Bolton)