Kenya on edge as Odinga maintains demands for electoral reform, renews calls for protests

Kenya on edge as Odinga maintains demands for electoral reform, renews calls for protests

Today, Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga is expected to announce the next course of action for his supporters. After the

Opposition leader Raila Odinga greets supporters as he arrives to address a rally in Kibera slum, Nairobi

Photo: Reuters

Today, Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga is expected to announce the next course of action for his supporters.

After the Kenyan Supreme Court’s annulment of the August 2017 general elections, Mr Odinga has organised regular protests, demanding the restructuring of the country’s election commission and the resignation of several electoral officials.

Following the departure of numerous key electoral officials–such as Commission head Wafula Chebukati and Commission board member Roselyn Akombe–citing personal threats of death, some are hopeful that Odinga will be appeased.

Unfortunately, this is improbable, as Odinga has since called for fresh protests on election day, which is now October 26. By withdrawing from the ballot, the opposition leader claims he will force a new 90-day electoral cycle. The delay would give him time to campaign and rally more support.

For many, the current situation is reminiscent of the period before the violence that followed the 2007-2008 election. Do not expect Odinga to reenter the race today. Instead, he will likely continue his call for mass protests on election day.