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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The National Super Alliance (NASA) co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka (L), Raila Odinga © and Musalia Mudavadi address the press at a hotel in Nairobi, Sept. 17, 2017.  Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga on Sunday launched a campaign to bring changes at the electoral body before he can take part in the fresh presidential elections slated for Oct. 17. XINHUA/JOHN OKOYO

Kenya opposition party launch campaign to remove poll officials

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga on Sunday launched a campaign to bring changes at the electoral body before he can take part in the fresh presidential elections slated for Oct. 17.

The National Supper Alliance (NASA) leader said next month’s presidential rerun would not be fair, free and credible with the current Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials who abetted the bungling of Aug. 8 polls in office.

"We launch our campaigns against any elections held by IEBC commissioners as constituted. We shall go around the country sensitizing people about the IEBC," Odinga told a news conference in Nairobi.

"The IEBC as currently constituted cannot conduct a free and fair election in October," said Odinga, who was accompanied by two other NASA principals, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi.

The 72-year-old opposition leader, who successful petitioned the Supreme Court to annul the result of Aug. 8 polls and overturned President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory, said they will crisscross the country in a campaign to explain to their supporters why the current commission cannot be trusted to oversee a free, fair election.

He accused the government of being complicit to electoral malpractices, saying "they are partners in crime," stressing that IEBC must be reformed through a consultative process before conducting any other poll.

"Why should Kenya trust these institutions?

"Is it because the IEBC went to a retreat and buried their hatchet?"

He vowed never to relent until some commissioners and nine other top officials resign before next month’s rerun.

"The 10 individuals including the CEO (Ezra Chiloba) who bungled the elections must resign for any election to be held," he said.

"Kenyans are coming for you! Salvage what you can and run.

"There will be no election with you in office."

"Are we counting on the very institutions and individuals who participated in a coup against the people and tried to install a defeated candidate as winner to ensure an accountable counting, tallying, transmission and transparency of results?

"Our answer is no," he said.

Odinga also accused Safran Morpho, a French firm which supplied election kits, of engaging in discussions with IEBC officials to manipulate the August poll.

He said the company’s Kenya Integrated Elections Managements System (KIEMS) that was used to identity voters and transmit results cannot be trusted to run another election.

Odinga dismissed threats by the French company to sue for defamation, saying "a thief cannot probe itself."

OT-Morpho said in a statement on Saturday that it will sue "unidentified people in both French and Kenyan courts for damaging the company’s reputation and honor."

The firm said it is willing to open its system for additional scrutiny by an independent body under the authority of IEBC.

           

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