Africa In The News

Kenyan ruling party sues opposition leader

JOHANNESBURG, October 20 –  Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka are being sued in Kenya’s Supreme Court by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported on Friday.

Jubilee alleges that the pair have disobeyed court orders and are planning to disrupt the rerun of August’s annulled presidential elections which are due to be held on October 26.

The ruling party says the opposition “has embarked on a calculated scheme, including through use of violence and threat of unlawful sabotage of the elections.”

Should they be found guilty of contempt of court they face six months imprisonment.

Odinga’s opposition party the National Super Alliance (NASA) successfully petitioned Kenya’s Supreme Court to annul the August elections on the basis of electoral irregularities.

The opposition leader has said he will boycott next week’s electoral rerun and has called for mass demonstrations across the East African country, claiming insufficient electoral reforms have been made.

NASA wants the head of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Ezra Chiloba, commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu, and nine other senior staff fired.

It has also demanded the change of the ballot paper printer and the elections technology provider before the fresh poll.

The electoral commission says it has complied with 20 of Nasa’s 34 demands with the rest being either outside its authority or requiring more than is constitutionally available.

Kenyatta, meanwhile, has countered saying electoral reform can wait until after the new elections and what was important was for Kenyans to turn out to vote on October 26.

To this effect he ignored a call by the IEBC on Wednesday for urgent talks to ensure a credible vote next week.

The stalemate has analysts and observers fearful of a constitutional crisis and more bloody clashes between protesters and security forces which in the past have left many dead.


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