Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party has accused opposition leader Raila Odinga, and his National Super Alliance (Nasa) party, of fearing fresh presidential elections, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported on Monday.
Kenya’s Supreme Court ordered fresh elections after nullifying the August poll results. The matter was brought to court by Odinga, who rejected the results.
As the war of words between the two sides escalates, Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju claimed Nasa was afraid of “loss for a second time”, hence looking for a scapegoat to avoid the polls.
Odinga also lost the 2013 presidential elections to Kenyatta.
Tuju made his comments during a press conference at Kenya’s Kisumu International Airport, denouncing Nasa claims that the Jubilee party had colluded with Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) electoral agency to rig the August 8 poll.
He said the ruling party was ready for the elections in 60 days as ordered by the Supreme Court.
“We will follow the constitution. Kenya is a country of laws and we are ready to abide by the court ruling to participate in a fresh election,” the former Rarieda MP said on Sunday evening.
Tuju’s comments came in response to Odinga’s vow to boycott the new presidential elections, scheduled for October 17, if there was no reform of the country’s electoral commission prior to said date.
Odinga has ramped up his attacks on senior officials of the IEBC, who are believed to be behind the bungling of the August polls. He is calling for the sacking of a dozen officials he accuses of electoral fraud.
Furthermore, Odinga also wants the French company OT to be prevented from supplying equipment to transmit results, claiming that only two of the more than 40 000 kits used to transmit the nullified election results were used, adding that he suspected some of the staff of being complicit in the electoral fraud.
The Al Ghurair printing firm should also be blacklisted in Odinga’s opinion because the ballot papers it supplied lacked security features.
Odinga has complained about Kenya’s IEBC for years.
Five people were killed in May 2016 after police opened fire at protesters who responded to Odinga’s call for the removal of senior IEBC officials after he lost that election to Kenyatta.
Meanwhile, there are fears that more violence lies ahead as Kenyans recall the deadly clashes of the 2007 election protests in which more than a thousand people lost their lives.