Kenya’s Opposition Leader: “I will be president”
Raila Odinga, leader of Kenya’s opposition, told a crowd of supporters that he still intends to be president.
Odinga held an impromptu rally less than an hour after President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second, five-year term, on Tuesday.
“On December 12, we will have an assembly that will swear me in,” Odinga told his supporters.
Odinga also said that Kenyatta’s presidency is illegitimate.
Opposition supporters gathered along a road in the Nairobi suburb of Eastlands, after police sealed off the area where Odinga had planned to hold a rally earlier in the day.
Shortly after Odinga’s speech, riot police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Kenya’s Supreme Court overturned the August presidential election because of irregularities and fraud allegations. A new vote was set for October, but Odinga chose to withdraw, due to a lack of election reform.
Supporters of Kenyatta, who won the election re-run with 98% of the vote after Odinga’s boycott, have urged the opposition to engage in reconciliation talks with the ruling party.
However, Odinga’s National Super Alliance said in a statement: “A return to the political backwardness of our past is more than unacceptable. It is intolerable. This divide cannot be bridged by dialogue and compromise.”