Kenya: Odinga vows to inaugurate himself as the ‘people’s president’

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Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has vowed to inaugurate himself as the “people’s president” by the end of January, unless there is dialogue between himself and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The NASA leader postponed a swearing-in ceremony for himself last month amid tensions following Kenya’s turbulent presidential election, which he ultimately withdrew from. However, the opposition leader now says a ceremony will be held on January 30 if talks between him and the president aren’t arranged.

Odinga to hold ceremony

Opposition leader Odinga confirmed to VOA that his party will hold a swearing-in ceremony declaring him as the “people’s president” but denied that the move has anything to do with trying to negotiate for power with President Kenyatta.

“So, we’re not using the swearing-in as a basis of negotiating with Uhuru Kenyatta,” he told VOA. “We have said in fact that we don’t want any stake in Uhuru Kenyatta’s government. We want to be the ones who are in government.”

Despite insisting he wants nothing to do with Kenyatta’s government, Odinga says his opposition party is seeking dialogue with the ruling Jubilee party. He says NASA wants to discuss five key topics with the president: electoral justice, judicial independence, police reforms, devolution of power and restructuring the executive in the constitution, according to VOA.

If these discussions don’t take place by January 30, Odinga says NASA will swear him in as the country’s rightful president and release its party program.

Featured image: By World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland – Accelerating Infrastructure Development: Raila Amolo Odinga, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24152996

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.