Opposing leader boycotts Kenyan election


Nakyla Kelly, Staff Writer

Violence recently struck Nairobi, Kenya, when opposition leader Raila Odinga, a Kenyan politician who served as the 2nd Prime Minister of Kenya from 2008 to 2013, told his supporters to boycott the election between him and former president Uhuru Kenyatta.

This has been the second boycott in less than two months. Kenyatta was already president in an earlier election that took place on August 8th, but it had been voided by the supreme court. The country voted for Kenyatta as new president for a second time. Each time the boycott forced a revote.  Odinga’s  supporters did not show up to the voting polls.

In Kibera, Kenya, though political rebels hurled stones at officers at the polling stations after learning their leader Raila Odinga dropped out of the presidential election. Officers fired bullets into the air as a warning. According to News Day, protesters chanted,”There is no voting here, leave us alone. No Raila, no peace!”

Ralia Odinga believed it was truly impossible to have a trustworthy election and told his followers, “you are now apart of a resistance movement.” Kenyatta had secured 98.3 percent of the votes in an earlier election that occurred, but Odinga decided to boycott that election too making the votes go down to 38.8 percent.

According to Al Jazeera, Alfred Otieno explained, “There is no point in voting. It is illegal what they are doing. They will steal again. This is a sham. I’m not going to waste my time in voting.”

Protests have begun to take place daily, all hours of the day. Protesters want to take the case to court. Kenyatta recently spoke out and explained he will consider dialogue with his opponent after the outcome of any court business.

Kenya commission chief Chebukati belives that this country would have a “fair, free, and credible election. He later spoke out and said, he “could not guarantee its credibility.” Chebukati expressed his disbelief at the loss of property and life that has taken toll on the families during this long election process.

Odinga has made rude comments towards Uhuru Kenyatta by calling Kenyatta’s reelection a “coup d’etat” (a overthrow of current government by a strong military or political group or a dictator).  The other day he said he stopped encouraging violent protests. However, that did not stop the protests.  Francis Malecha expressed, “We are not just fighting for Raila, We are fighting for ourselves.”

This election has taken a big toll on Kenya over the years. People are hoping to have a fair election in the near future.