Tensions are high in Kenya over the withdrawal of the Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga in the October election re-run, according to the Editor of the Coast Newspaper in Kenya.
Charles Ogalo, who is based in Mombasa, the second largest city in Kenya, told Onua FM’s Ghana Dadwene on Tuesday that “there are a lot of tension in Kenya but not that people are fighting but they are tensed”.
Mr. Odinga announced his withdrawal on Tuesday, saying it would give the Electoral Commission enough time to introduce reforms that will help deliver a more credible election.
The Supreme Court annulled the result of the original 8 August 2017 poll, which saw Uhuru Kenyatta declared winner, after finding irregularities.
The country’s Electoral Commission had said Mr. Kenyatta won the August poll by a margin of 1.4 million votes – or 54% of the total, compared to Mr. Odinga’s 44%.
The re-run is due to take place on 26 October 2017, but Mr. Odinga announced on Tuesday that “We have come to the conclusion that there is no intention on the part of the IEBC [Electoral Commission] to undertake any changes to its operations and personnel…
“All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one”.
Speaking on a telephone interview from Mombasa on Tuesday, Mr. Ogalo explained that “political tensions are high after Odinga today declared that he has withdrawn. A lot of Kenyans don’t know what will happen next and supporters of the opposition are not happy”.
He said “the government is happy because now that opposition has withdrawn, the government is now going to be declared the winner”.
The newspaper Editor added that “currently, the Electoral Commission is holding a meeting and we hope before the day ends they will tell the nation something”.
By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|Onua 95.1FM|3news.com|Ghana