Kenya opposition group says protest mock inaugural ceremony postponed

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Nairobi – Kenya’s main opposition group on Sunday postponed a mock ceremony to inaugurate its leader as president.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga and his colleagues said in a statement the decision to delay the event until a later date was reached after wide consultations but that they “remain fully on course in pursuit of electoral justice.”

“We are aware that this will be a disappointment to the people of Kenya who were eagerly waiting for this occasion,” the statement said. “We wish to assure them that our resolve has not changed. Specifically, we wish to reiterate that any national dialogue must have electoral justice on the agenda. We are not interested in sharing illegitimate dictatorial power.”

The protest event had been set for December 12.

Kenya’s government said last week the ceremony would amount to treason and the US urged the opposition to cancel it amid concerns it might end in violence.

Odinga brought a successful legal challenge against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s August re-election but boycotted the repeat vote in October, saying there had not been enough electoral reforms.

Odinga said he doesn’t recognise Kenyatta as the country’s legitimate president, although the Supreme Court unanimously upheld Kenyatta’s victory in the October rerun vote.

Anger remains high among Odinga’s supporters who believe he won the August vote.

Dozens of people have been killed in clashes between the security forces and Odinga’s supporters since the August vote.


Edited by Amy Smith (NIAS)