Kenya: Nasa postpones Raila Odinga swearing-in ceremony

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Kenyan opposition group Nasa postponed a planned swearing-in ceremony for Raila Odinga on Sunday, after consulting with national and international bodies.

The decision comes after calls from the US and other major powers to call off the ceremony over fears that it would further provoke political tensions in Kenya. The country is still coming to terms with a drawn-out election process that divided the nation and resulted in violence.

Swearing- in ceremony postponed

Nasa had planned to hold a swearing-in ceremony for its leader Raila Odinga and his deputy Kalonzo Musyoka on Tuesday. Odinga pulled out of last month’s election after Kenya’s electoral commission failed to make reforms after its failure to hold the initial election in August.

His boycott effectively handed victory to President Uhuru Kenyatta, who went on to secure his second term in power. Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto were sworn in as president and vice-president on November 28.

Nasa planned to hold a ceremony of its own, swearing-in Odinga and Musyoka as the people’s choice for leading Kenya. However, it has postponed the event after consulting with national and international bodies regarding the implications it could have.

Nasa urged to drop ceremony plans

With political tensions high in Kenya, various bodies have urged Nasa to drop its plans for a swearing-in ceremony. kenya’s government is in a precarious position of having to validate its authority after a farcical election victory that was marred by low turnout and violence.

One major criticism throughout the election process was the conduct of security forces and there’s no guarantee they wouldn’t respond in similar vein to a ceremony that further jeopardises the government’s authority.

While Nasa has postponed its swearing-in ceremony, it insists it hasn’t given up its fight for “electoral justice”. The party also apologised for postponing the event to Kenyans who were “eagerly waiting for this occasion”.

“We wish to assure them [Kenyans] that our resolve has not changed. Specifically, we want to reiterate that any national dialogue must have electoral justice on the agenda. We are not interested in sharing illegitimate dictatorial power,” it said in a statement.

Featured image: By Amanda Lucidon (Uhuru Kenyatta photograph) / World Economic Forum (Raila Odinga photograph) – https://www.flickr.com/photos/statephotos/14860312613 / http://www.flickr.com/photos/15237218@N00/3237854563, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62121592

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.