Kenyan opposition leader threatens to call for nationwide protests

The NASA leader says the opposition may move to the streets once again

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has threatened to call for countrywide protests if the Jubilee government does not heed to the Opposition's call for dialogue on electoral reforms.

In his New Year's message, the Nasa leader said the opposition plans to unveil its programme of civil disobedience against the Jubilee regime.

“Within the first week of the New Year, we will unveil a programme for civil disobedience, peaceful protests, non-cooperation with and resistance to an illegitimate regime in addition to People’s Assemblies.

"Nasa’s position remains that until electoral justice is achieved, we will not recognise the Jubilee regime and the so-called election of Uhuru Kenyatta as President,” Mr. Odinga said.

He said their opponents have an option of agreeing to have the contentious matters resolved at the earliest opportunity, “or we may very soon not have a nation”.

“The imperial presidency that we sought to contain is rearing its head again, interfering with and intimidating other institutions. We cannot stand by and watch as the monster rises again. Soon, it will be too late.”

He warned the Jubilee government that the only way to avoid Nasa's wrath is agreeing to dialogue on electoral reforms.

“We can sit down on the negotiating table with our Jubilee opponents and discuss how to fix our electoral system, reform the Executive, protect the Judiciary, reform the security sector and strengthen devolution. We are ready for such dialogue as long as these issues are on the table. Alternatively, we take the issues to the people and let them decide without the involvement of the State,” the former prime minister said.

His ultimatum may see the country inherit the grandstanding that marred Kenya's politics in 2017 which included a protracted election.

The Jubilee government has however ruled out any possibility of talks on electoral reforms adding that it is only open to dialogue on how to move the country forward.

The prospect of Nasa threatening to swear in Mr. Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka as president and deputy respectively only adds to President Kenyatta's delicate challenge of addressing the rising tensions as he starts his new term.

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