The Latest: Kenya in ‘uncharted waters’ as Odinga withdraws

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Latest on Kenya’s presidential election (all times local):


7:15 p.m.

One analyst says Kenya is now in “uncharted waters” after opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew from the fresh presidential election brought about by his legal challenge of the August vote.

“The constitution is silent about what happens if the presidential election doesn’t take place after the court annuls the elections,” says Murithi Mutiga, senior analyst with the International Crisis Group.

The Supreme Court on Sept. 1 nullified the August vote won by President Uhuru Kenyatta and called for a new election within 60 days. Odinga had filed a legal challenge alleging vote manipulation.

Kenyatta says the election will go ahead, while the election commission meets with its legal team on the way forward.

“This might yield to a prolonged stalemate unless the politicians on all sides see the wisdom in stepping back and adopting more moderate positions,” Mutiga says, adding that the election developments have exhausted and polarized the public in Kenya.


7 p.m.

Kenya’s president is accusing opposition leader Raila Odinga of causing the country to waste millions of dollars on a new election that Odinga now says he won’t contest.

Odinga has withdrawn from the Oct. 26 vote, saying the election commission has not made needed changes to avoid the “illegalities” cited in the nullified August vote.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Twitter that “what is the justice in the act of withdrawing from an election after causing Kenyans to use Kenya shillings 12 billion?” ($116 million)

Kenyatta says the vote will go ahead, while the election commission says it is meeting with its legal team on the way forward.


6:35 p.m.

Kenya’s president says the Oct. 26 election will go ahead despite the withdrawal of opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Kenyatta on Tuesday told supporters that “there is nowhere the constitution says Raila Amollo Odinga has to be on the ballot.”

Odinga has pulled out of vote and said Kenya’s election commission did not make the changes needed to avoid the “illegalities” the Supreme Court cited when it nullified Kenyatta’s win in the August election.

It was Odinga’s legal challenge that led the court to nullify the election and order a new one. Odinga had alleged manipulation of election results.

The election commission now says it is meeting with its legal team about the way forward.


5 p.m.

Kenya opposition leader Raila Odinga has withdrawn his candidacy for the fresh presidential election ordered by the country’s Supreme Court, saying the election commission has not made the changes to avoid the “irregularities and illegalities” cited in the nullified August vote.

Odinga made the surprise announcement Tuesday. It was his legal challenge that led the court to nullify the Aug. 8 election that President Uhuru Kenyatta won.

The court also ordered a new election, which is set for Oct. 26. It was the first time a court had overturned the results of a presidential election in Africa.

Odinga says “there’s no intention” on the part of Kenya’s election commission to undertake any changes before the vote.


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