Kenya opposition insists on parallel presidential swearing-in

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga's swearing-in ceremony is on course, his advisor Salim Lone has said.

Mr Lone rebuffed claim that the December 12 ceremony is illegal, insisting that the oath will help prevent further polarisation in the country by giving Kenyans hope for justice denied them under the national electoral commission.

It will also give an impetus for the people’s assemblies to push for economic and justice issues in the country, the advisor said in a statement.

Agreed agenda

Mr Lone added that Mr Odinga was open to dialogue if it is between equals as was done in 2008 between him former President Mwai Kibaki.

However, he said, the talks must have agreed agenda which should also include electoral justice.

“Mr Odinga has also always been open to a dialogue. Before this election he sought it to ensure that it would be credibly done, but there was no interest in the dialogue nor in holding an honest election.

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“He has repeatedly indicated his willingness to enter into a dialogue even now, if it is held between equals,” Mr Lone said.

The statement comes in the backdrop of a call by the US, urging the opposition leader to call off the planned swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, citing the move would polarise the country further.

Principal Deputy assistant Secretary at the US government’s Bureau of African Affairs Donald Yamamoto on Tuesday indicated that defiant individuals may face unspecified sanctions from President Donald Trump’s administration.

Political tensions

But Mr Lone said the country was already polarised as a result of a flawed electoral processes in August and October.

He accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of doing little amidst political tensions in the country.

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