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Kenya Passes New Electoral Law in Wake of Odinga Withdrawal

The new law declares victory to the presidential candidate who won the previous election if a candidate withdraws from the rerun election.
Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga believes he was the rightful winner of Kenya
Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga believes he was the rightful winner of Kenya's presidential election in August. | Photo: AFP
A day after opposition presidential hopeful Raila Odinga dropped out of what he characterized as being Kenya's “unfair” rerun election, the country's parliament passed an electoral law which automatically declares victory to the presidential candidate who won the previous election.

The decision would be contingent on a candidate, in this case Odinga, dropping out of the race, according to PressTV.

The amendment, blasted by opposition lawmakers who boycotted the vote, was proposed by incumbent Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's ruling party.

Parliamentary spokesman Martin Mutua said the new amendment would take effect as soon as Kenyatta, the winner of Kenya's presidential election held in August, signs it into law.

Odinga dropped out of running in Kenya's rerun election, saying a new electoral commission was needed to assure fairness and transparency. He added that if changes didn't occur, there was a high chance that the new election would be worse than the previous, PressTV reported.

While Odinga's coalition party urged that the re-run election be cancelled due to his withdrawal, Kenyatta expressed confidence in a second victory, saying “We are sure we will get more votes than the last time.”

Kenya's Supreme Court nullified Kenya's presidential election in August. It was the first time a presidential election result has been legally overturned in the country.

Supreme Court Chief Justice David Maraga declared Kenyatta's presidential victory "invalid, null and void" last Friday. To justify his decision he cited "rampant irregularities" in the electronic transmission of vote results.

A senior official of Kenya's election commission announced that the country will hold new presidential elections on Oct.17. (teleSUR)

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