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Kenya's Opposition Delays Mock 'Inauguration' of Odinga

  • VOA News

FILE - Kenya's Raila Odinga in Nairobi, Kenya, Nov. 28, 2017.

Kenya's opposition has delayed plans for an "inauguration" ceremony of leader Raila Odinga, who boycotted elections in October, his party said Sunday.

The National Super Alliance (NASA) had planned a mock ceremony to "inaugurate" Odinga as president on Tuesday, Kenya's independence day, two weeks after incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta was officially sworn in for a second term.

NASA said the decision was made after "consultations and engagement with a wide range of national and international interlocutors" without naming any specific parties.

Kenya's attorney general said last week a mock swearing-in could amount to charges of treason against Odinga, which is punishable by death in Kenya.

After two elections, several Supreme Court petitions, frequent protests and many other twists and turns, Uhuru Kenyatta finally was sworn in on November 28th for a second term as president of Kenya.

On the same day, Odinga vowed that he would be inaugurated - a promise that worried many observers who feared the move could reignite political tensions that left at least 58 people dead in violent clashes.

After his August electoral win was nullified, Kenyatta won a second election in October with about 98 percent of the overall vote, after opposition leader Raila Odinga told his supporters to boycott the polls. There was 39 percent overall voter turnout in October, leading many to ask whether Kenyatta had earned a mandate.

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