Raila Odinga the defeated National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate in Kenya’s election held on 8 August seems increasingly isolated, even among his political alliance’s principal leaders, as he continues to refuse to accept the election result calling it a “sham” and “fraud”.
Not a few commentators have noticed that Mr Odinga’s NASA principals, Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula have been noticeable by their absence from his side.
Normally Odinga stalwarts have also called, in effect, for him to acknowledge defeat, including Kisumu Governor-elect Anyang’ Nyong’o and the Secretary-General of the Central Organisation of Trade Unions, Francis Atwoli.
STRIKE CALL GOES UNHEADED
Odinga’s call at a speech on Sunday in the sprawling Kibera slum area in Nairobi for his supporters to strike today to mourn those who have died in post-election violence, seems to have largely fallen on deaf ears.
Nairobeans appear to have resumed work today as do the vast majority of the working population in Mombasa and other cities and large towns throughout the country.
Some of the lack of support for Odinga’s strike call may also be due to practical considerations. As one person told the BBC World Service, “I supported NASA but these guys don’t pay my bills”.
WHERE DOES ODINGA GO FROM HERE?
Mr Odinga told the crowd on Sunday that he “will announce the next course of action on Tuesday” (tomorrow) and warned that Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee alliance “cannot get away with a stolen election”. However, it is difficult to see where the beleagured Odinga goes from here.
The margin of Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory was considerable, over 1.4 million votes and nearly 10% of the vote more than Raila Odinga.
The international organisations that monitored Kenya’s election have all declared it to be fundamentally free and fair and only yesterday former United Nations Secretary general Kofi Annan, the man who brokered the 2008 coalition deal following Kenya’s violent election in December 2007, congratulated Kenyatta on his victory and called on Kenyans to “embrace peace”.
A Western diplomat quoted in the Kenya media said that a power-sharing deal was “not an option”. He called on NASA to bring forward evidence of election rigging if they had it but said, “NASA has been changing its position in quite significant ways in the past week… Most of the stuff they are alleging is not accurate”.
Raila Odinga, who officially lost elections for president in 1997, 2007 and 2013, has reportedly stated that, “I’m not going to be a candidate again”. After this latest and heaviest of election defeats it is likely that the decision whether the 72-year-old veteran politician could stand in the next presidential election in 2022 will no longer be his to take.