Kenyan Opposition Leader Holds Mock 'Inauguration' as 'the People's President'
31 January, 2018, 10:34 | Author: Kristen Ingram
It also blocked live television broadcasts of the event, sparking outrage days after the government allegedly warned broadcasters not to cover it. Kenya's attorney general said that the swearing in ceremony could be " treasonous " and may lead to criminal charges against Odinga, according to reports. The Kenyan Supreme Courtnullified the August election due to irregularities but refused two petitions to nullify the October vote despite a number of eyebrow-raising incidents, such as one of the election commissioners announcing her life was in danger and fleeing the country.
Heavy police deployment was withdrawn Tuesday without explanation at the Uhuru Park where the opposition had said the event would take place.
Following months of turmoil and violence that surrounded last year's annulled elections, a rerun and a legal challenge to the inauguration of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta in November, Odinga and NASA swore that they would never recognise Kenyatta as President nor his government as legitimate. A legal expert and Public Affairs commentator, Barr Godwin Ugborji is of the view that,"The move by Odinga is undesirable, and uncalled for!"
The event was purely ceremonial and does not bestow any formal authority on opposition leader Raila Odinga. "That direct threat has subsequently been echoed, off record, by other senior members of government".
Mwenda Njoka, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the designation was a response to the symbolic oath of office that Odinga took Tuesday. Odinga has strong support there and in the west and along the coast, areas where people have long felt ignored by central government and shut out of political patronage networks.
Odinga dismissed the election as a "sham" and a "meaningless exercise", and called for the creation of a "people's assembly" that will be responsible for an economic boycott, peaceful protests, and constitutional change.
KTN News, Citizen TV and radio, NTV, Inooro TV were switched off air on free-to-air platforms.
Raila Odinga has no option but to be on the ballot in the 2022 presidential election, Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo has said.
Addressing journalists today, Musyoka said they would seek an explanation from the communications body.
Speaking to the media after leaving his Karen house ahead of the oath plan today, Wiper leader Kalonzo decried the "tactical police withdrawal" saying the State was out to frustrate all activities in the Opposition coalition.
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