Raila Odinga vows not to back down over Kenya election outcome | News | DW | 13.08.2017
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Kenyan election

Raila Odinga vows not to back down over Kenya election outcome

A call to Kenyans to skip work Monday by veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga has followed urgings from the European Union that he concede defeat. Nairobi has seen brief clashes on an otherwise quiet Sunday.

Odinga speaking into a microphone, in the background crowds (Reuters/S. Modola)

Odinga addressing supporters in Nairobi's Mathare slum

Odinga issued his nationwide strike call Sunday while visiting Nairobi's biggest slum, Kibera, as he sought support for his claim that he had been cheated during Tuesday's presidential election.

The Kenyan election commission's declaration on Friday that President Uhuru Kenyatta had been re-elected by a 1.4 million margin also drew backing Sunday from the EU.

"I want to congratulate Uhuru Kenyatta," said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, adding that Kenya's commission had ensured a "transparent" process of tallying the results.

"In line with the African Union, the EU expects the [Kenyan] opposition to respect the results and use legal means available for appeals and complaints," Mogherini added.

Kenyatta speaking from a lecture pult (Picture-Alliance/dpa/AP/S. A. Azim)

Kenyatta after Friday's poll result announcement

Odinga to outline challenge

Odinga, however, said he would outline his strategy to contest the vote on Tuesday while his National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition demanded access to election commission computer servers to examine electronic results.

Under the law, he has until next Friday to file a petition with Kenya's Supreme Court. Now 72-years-old, it is Odinga's fourth bid for the presidency.

As Odinga addressed 4,000 people in Kibera on Sunday, one of his chief supporters, Senator James Orengo, also called for a boycott of Kenya's independent media group, Nation, for its coverage of the disputed election.

From Kibera, Odinga traveled on to Mathare, another Nairobi slum to visit the family of an eight-year-old girl killed, according to a witness, by a stray police bullet on Saturday as police and protestors clashed.

Police dismissed Sunday a Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights' finding that police gunfire had killed at least 24 people amid post-election protests since last Tuesday.

Six had been killed, asserted police, for alleged looting, rioting and attacking police officers over the past two days.

Slum clash, quiet elsewhere

In stark contrast to previous days, Nairobi only saw minor clashes in one slum area, several hours after Odinga's visit.

Crowd scene, man holds arm high (picture-alliance/AA/B. Jaybee)

Odinga supporters rally in Kabira, Nairobi, on Saturday

The Agence France-Presse news agency reported one man lay motionless and injured after being hit by sticks and a rock following clashes involving hundreds of people from Odinga's Luo ethnic group and Kenyatta's Kikuyu tribe.

In the wake of Kenya's 2007 presidential election, ethnic-related violence claimed 1,200 lives, displaced 600,000 persons and paralyzed Kenya's economy.

The 2017 election run-up was also fraught with tension, heightened by the murder of Chris Msando, a key administrator of the biometric voting system.

Government neglect

Members of the Luo ethnic group from western Kenya allege neglect by the central government.

"We are sick and tired of these people stealing our country from us," David Orwa, 44, told the Reuters news agency, hinting at lingering rifts in the nation of 45 million.

The Kikuyu tribe has provided three out of four presidents since Kenya gained independence from Britain in 1963.

ipj/jlw (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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