Mon Sep 4, 2017 07:51AM
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga waves at supporters as he leaves the Supreme Court in Nairobi on September 1, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga waves at supporters as he leaves the Supreme Court in Nairobi on September 1, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga says his coalition will not participate in a fresh presidential election under the current electoral board, claiming that the country’s election officials cannot protect people’s votes.

Odinga said on Sunday that his coalition would take part in the future presidential election only if he is assured the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) would not take sides.

The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the election board had committed irregularities that rendered the August 8 vote invalid and overturned the victory of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had defeated Odinga, his longtime rival, by a margin of 1.4 million votes.

The ruling also ordered a fresh presidential election in 60 days between Kenyatta, 55, and veteran opponent Odinga, 72.

Following the verdict, Odinga urged the election commission, which is tasked with running the new election, to resign. He has called the body’s members “hyenas” that must be dismissed and face criminal prosecution.

Odinga further said Sunday that his party cannot accept to share power with “thieves.”

Kenyatta chose to respect the Supreme Court’s decision, but angered the top court by calling for judicial reforms in the country.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses a crowd on September 1, 2017, in a Nairobi suburb. (Photo by AFP)

He had said earlier that the judges “decided to go against the will of the people.”

The president insists that the vote should be re-run under the current electoral board.

Kenyan judges censured Kenyatta’s “veiled threats” and “political rhetoric.” The Kenya Magistrates and Judges Association (KMJA) announced on Saturday that Kenyatta’s remarks were “an assault on the judiciary.”

Odinga contested the last three presidential polls and lost all of them. After each election, he has claimed the votes were rigged.

In 2008, Kenya witnessed weeks of post-election violence that claimed the lives of over 1,000 people after Odinga challenged the vote results. In the 2013 elections, the Supreme Court dismissed his petition.