NEWS

Raila Odinga calls for fresh elections by August

Raila Odinga signals after swearing in as the ‘people’s president’ on January 31

In a twist of events, Kenya’s main opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has said he wants new elections by August 2018.

Speaking on BBC’s Hardtalk, Mr Odinga said he also aimed to create a “people’s convention” to deliberate on issues from regional assemblies – but not appoint ministers.

On January 31, Odinga, flanked by a mammoth crowd swore himself in as the ‘people’s president’ in a ceremony that was boycotted by many of his allies.

Analysts called the inauguration a flopped public relations stunt, however, Mr Odinga declared that he was answering to a “high[er] calling to assume the office of the people’s president of the Republic of Kenya”.

Mr Odinga turned up for just 20 minutes, signed a statement, swore an oath and left the stage, leaving his supporters wondering why it was such a low-key affair, according to analysts.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term last November, having won an election re-run in October, which was boycotted by Mr Odinga.

Elections were first held in August but the courts ordered a re-run, saying Mr Kenyatta’s victory was marred by irregularities.

Meanwhile, the Kenyan government has confirmed kicking lawyer Miguna Miguna out of the country days after he was arrested over the oathing of NASA leader Raila Odinga.

Authorities used his Canadian citizenship to force him to fly to Canada just hours after the court ruled that police release him immediately.

While the state claims that Miguna never reapplied for his Kenyan citizenship, questions have arisen on how he contested for elections without it.

Watch the full interview: http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-africa-42974510/kenya-s-raila-odinga-calls-for-new-elections

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