President Kenyatta rules out meeting Odinga, only after polls


By Sylveter Okumu,

October 24th, 2017,

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday ruled out talks with his rival National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga.

The head of State says that he will only consider talking with Mr. Odinga after the Thursday presidential polls.

The revelations raise concerns on the push for a dialogue between the two political leaders on the current political impasse even as Election Day approaches fast.

The Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) insisted that it will go on with the elections as planned.

On his part, President Kenyatta says he supports the electoral agency to do its work. “I do not have any demands on IEBC. I have approved the budget and I only want them to deliver the elections to Kenyans on Thursday 26.”

His comments seem to contradict the opposition’s push for electoral reforms after they pointed out some ‘irreducible minimums’ considerations for IEBC which it has since ignored.

The Supreme Court in August ruled that the electoral agency conducted polls were marred by illegalities and irregularities leading to the invalidation of Uhuru’s win.

In his ruling Justice Maraga said that if the same irregularities will be committed, he will still rule the same.

IEBC has since conducted minimal internal restructures in view of the same but there is a public outcry that the changes are too little to convince Kenyans that they can conduct credible elections.

On Monday morning, President Kenyatta held a meeting with FM stations from the Mount Kenya region.

The same was later streamed to the mainstream media.

In his communication, he ruled out meeting with IEBC chairman Mr. Wafula Chebukati but he later met him at Harambee House on Monday afternoon raising concerns of his double speak.

It is not clear what was discussed but reports are that the electoral body chair briefed the President on election preparedness.

Mr. William Ruto, the deputy president later joined the meeting.

The president subsequently said that the Constitution has vested powers to all Kenyans and they are free to exercise their democratic rights on Thursday, to vote or not to vote. He, however, expressed confidence in his supporters who will come out in large numbers to vote.

“We only need 55 percent of my supporters to turn out and vote. As long as they do so, the remaining 45 percent will be irrelevant.”

He further said that Kenyans will not leave the fate of 45 million people to be decided by few individuals, neither him nor Mr. Odinga.

“I will listen to whatever he, Odinga wants after the elections,” he said.

He further revealed that he will sign into law the Elections Laws (Amendment) Bill.

The proposed law, among other provisions, changes the workings of IEBC, including the plenary quorum required for crucial decisions.

It is not clear yet when the head of State will sign the Bill into law.

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