Raila makes unexpected announcement ahead of NASA petition

"We don’t really care about the verdict"

Mr Odinga in an interview with earlier said that his move to petition Mr Kenyatta is not pegged on the hopes of overturning the outcome, but as a way to expose evidence of widespread vote-rigging.

“Whether the court rules in our favor or rules against us, we don’t really care,” the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, told the US based tabloid shortly after the Wednesday announcement.

He added: “We want this evidence to come out so that people can know how they did it and who did, so they know that it was stolen.”

Political analysts argue that the major crackdown by the Fazul Mohammed led Non-Governmental Organisations Board, which has angered the civil society and the opposition, might have been the force behind the renewed energy to face the court.

Earlier, Mr Odinga and some of his close allies (including Senior Counsel and Siaya Senator elect James Orengo) had vowed not to go to court to challenge Mr Kenyatta’s reelection. He lost a similar case in 2013, in which the Court (then led by Dr Willy Mutunga) upheld the decision by the then polls team to have Uhuru Kenyatta sworn in as the president.

“This is about the people of Kenya so that the Kenyans are justified to use civil disobedience means to seek justice if they don’t get it in a court of law,” Mr. Odinga said. “So we will use all constitutional means.”

Mr Odinga’s sentiments come even as he has a few hours to beat the deadline for submitting the petition to the Registrar of the Supreme Court (whose office on Friday opened at 7am and will close at 12 am). The seven-day window ends today.

Mr Kenyatta was declared by the IEBC the president-elect last Friday at the Bomas National Tallying Centre, where the opposition’s team walked out in protest against the announcement. Mr Kenyatta got 8.2 million votes against Raila who had 6.7 million votes.

Mr. Odinga’s allegations of fraud set off protests across Nairobi and Kisumu, resulting in the deaths of at least 25 people (according to human right groups), including a 6-month-old Samantha Pendo.

Throughout his campaign and in the days after the election, Mr. Odinga insisted that he was the rightful winner and that there was no point in resolving the electoral results in court because the judiciary was biased. That created expectations among his millions of followers, who have since felt shortchanged in the polls.

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