UK Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya, Susie Kitchens, joined US Ambassador Bob Godec for a meeting today with NASA leader Raila Odinga amid disagreements over proposed amendments to the election laws.
The meeting was held at the Capitol Hill office of the opposition leader and former Prime Minister who has constantly criticised foreign election observers for giving the just-concluded General Election a clean bill of health despite concerns raised by the opposition.
Following the election August 14, Odinga said: “Some of them [foreign election observers] just have big names but have nothing to offer on matters of observing the elections. They can do what they want to do or say whatever they want but they should not tell us to go to court because it is not our option.”
He took particular issue with US Chief elections observer John Kerry claiming he disappointed Kenyans after concluding the elections were free, fair and credible.
“I think that the observers have not helped Kenyans resolve this dispute, they have confounded it by giving basically an approval to a fairly flawed process…and therefore I am very disappointed with John Kerry and the other observers.” – Raila Odinga
Kerry had said it was important for the tallying process to be completed for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to show Kenyans how they conducted an election that is accountable. Afterwards, he had said anyone with concerns afterwards should follow the rule of law and go through the court process.
“I believe that there is great legitimacy in the basic process, the question that now has to be tested is did everybody follow it, and did somebody attempted to alter t at any stage.” – John Kerry
Odinga claims it was he and not Uhuru Kenyatta who won the August 8 election and has accused IEBC officials of ‘awarding’ President Uhuru Kenyatta the victory.
Following the election, he has put down 12 demands including the disbandment of the IEBC before the October 26 repeat election is held and has maintained that he will not be participating in the repeat election if his demands are not addressed.
He also wants the election to be strictly conducted electronically, but Uhuru’s Jubilee party are pushing for the passage of amendments to the Elections Act which would allow the use of the manual election process as a backup in case the electronic one fails.
Jubilee have also demanded that changes have to be made to the electoral laws to avoid any victory being nullified like the previous result.