Kenya president: elections will go ahead despite opposition leader's withdrawal

Anti IEBC demos along Nkrumah Road in Mombasa

Anti IEBC demos along Nkrumah Road in Mombasa

He was boycotting the polls because his demands for electoral reform were not met, Odinga said during a press conference in the capital, Nairobi.

At least 37 people were killed in a police crackdown on protests immediately after the August vote, the government-backed Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said in a report on Monday.

Nearly all the victims of the violence were killed in opposition strongholds in the slums of the capital, Nairobi, or the western part of the country.

The election which saw the announcement of incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta as victor, was annulled by the supreme court and has been re-scheduled for October 26.

Kenyatta has said he does not want changes to the electoral commission.

Douglas Gichuki, a law professor at Strathmore Univerisity in Nairobi, said he doesn't yet consider this a constitutional crisis. "Many will fall for the good things in Pharaoh's court and forget that we are leaving Egypt for Canaan", he said.

This interpretation is interesting because the textual reference is only to death and does not in any way refer to the withdrawal of a candidate.

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Kenyatta was re-elected with 54.3% of votes, ahead of his rival Raila Odinga, with 44.7%. He said Democracy was for everyone and no one individual could "stand in the path of the progress of 45 million Kenyans". "There is freedom of choice and if I freely choose to stay away, there is no way anybody, including the courts, can force me to participate", Mr Odinga said. Odinga has called for protests on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. "So whether you are there or not, we are proceeding to the people who have the sovereign right to elect the leader of their choice". Many Kenyans know that the election of August 8 was free and fair.

Kenya's Supreme Court last month annulled the August presidential poll, won by incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, due to widespread irregularities in the counting process. So they threw out Kenyatta's big victory and ordered new elections.

He went on to say: 'All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one'.

"These are unprecedented times for Kenya".

Kenya's disputed 2007 election result led to civil unrest which killed 1,200 and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

Gichuki said it's clear that Kenya is now in a political crisis and he thinks that the country is trying to litigate "fundamental problems or social, political organization through law".

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