Raila Odinga Says He Won’t Run in Kenya’s New Presidential Election
NAIROBI, Kenya — Raila Odinga, the Kenyan opposition leader, said on Tuesday that he would not run in a new presidential election to be held in two weeks, a move that almost guarantees that President Uhuru Kenyatta will remain in office.
The first election, on Aug. 8, was initially praised as a success, but it was nullified three weeks later by the Supreme Court, which ordered a new vote after determining that the first ballot had been tainted by fraud and irregularities.
Mr. Kenyatta was re-elected with 54 percent of the vote, but his main challenger, Mr. Odinga, had petitioned the court to cancel the results, saying that the election had been electronically manipulated to guarantee a victory for the incumbent.
David Maraga, the Supreme Court’s chief justice, declared on Sept. 1 in ruling in favor of the opposition that the initial result was “invalid, null and void,” although the court did not accept the claim that the election had been rigged.
In announcing his decision to withdraw from the new election, scheduled for Oct. 26, Mr. Odinga said that the election commission had failed to make the changes necessary to avoid the problems that plagued the vote in August.
Mr. Odinga said that the commission had “stonewalled” changes sought by the opposition, The Associated Press reported, and he accused officials of engaging in little more than “public relations exercises” that amounted to “motion without movement.”