Wednesday October 11, 2017
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto hold a rally in Kaloleni, Kilifi County, on October 10, 2017. They said the election will proceed. PHOTO | PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto say the October 26 presidential repeat election will go on whether Nasa leader Raila Odinga participates or not.
Addressing a rally at Voi Stadium, Taita-Taveta County, the Jubilee leaders, who were there to seek support ahead of the vote, said it is not written in the Constitution that Mr Odinga must contest the election.
“He should stop taking Kenyans in circles,” President Kenyatta said in reaction to news of Mr Odinga’s withdrawal from the race.
“If the journey has become too tough for him, he can relax."
He added: “I expect elections on October 26 for Kenyans to decide who their leader should be.”The President reiterated that he won the August 8 polls but only accepted a repeat poll as per the Supreme Court verdict to avoid chaos.
“No one individual should stand in the path of progress of 45 million Kenyans,” President Kenyatta said at the end of his three-day tour of Coast.
He said it is Mr Odinga who challenged his election in court “and has now announced his withdrawal from the race", adding that the Sh12 billion set aside for the poll should have been channelled to development.
The Head of State said the Supreme Court cleared him and the electoral agency of any wrongdoing in the August elections and that irregularities were only found in forms.
“We are ready for the election if he (Mr Odinga) will be there or not,” President Kenyatta said.
Mr Ruto said Mr Odinga should stop taking Kenyans round in circles.
“We are told Raila has withdrawn from the election. We want to tell him we are ready whether he will be there or not. It is his constitutional right to vie or not,” Mr Ruto said.
President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto opposed Mr Odinga’s push for fresh elections to be held after 90 days, saying Kenyans were tired and wanted to continue with their lives.
They urged Taita-Taveta residents to give them more votes in the repeat poll than they did in August, citing Jubilee’s development record.
The two also praised Taita- Taveta Governor Granton Samboja’s announcement that he will work with Jubilee government for growth.
Mr Samboja was elected on a Wiper ticket, which is a Nasa affiliate.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko said President Kenyatta should be sworn in for a second term following Mr Odinga’s withdrawal.
Meanwhile, Jubilee MPs on Tuesday called on IEBC to declare Uhuru Kenyatta the President following Mr Odinga’s withdrawal.
They said the only option is to declare Uhuru the President because he has no competitor.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said despite Odinga’s withdrawal, the repeat poll will still be held and Uhuru Kenyatta will be declared the winner.
“There will be elections as earlier planned on October 26 and President Kenyatta will win,” Mr Duale said.
“Now that we only have Uhuru Kenyatta as the presidential candidate, IEBC should give us the nod to proceed to Kasarani to swear in Uhuru ,” nominated MP Cecily Mbarire said.
Igembe North MP Maoka Maore said Mr Odinga has been misled by his lawyers thinking that he will benefit from his withdrawal or cause any crisis.
Kieni MP Kanini Kega accused Mr Odinga of trying to cause a constitutional crisis by withdrawing his candidature just days to the repeat poll.
Laikipia Woman Rep Catherine Waruguru thanked Mr Odinga for “conceding defeat”.