The National Super Alliance (NASA) now plans to hold daily street protests starting Monday next week, in a bid to convince structural reforms at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Their charged spirit for more action on streets came a day after the coalition’s presidential candidate Raila Odinga quit the race. Odinga explained that the IEBC had failed to honour their demands for electoral reforms otherwise known as irreducible minimums.
The NASA chief lamented; “IEBC has refused, neglected or failed to put in place mechanisms to correct illegalities and irregularities cited by Supreme Court during the nullification of the August election.”
During Wednesday’s anti-IEBC protests in Nairobi, Siaya Senator James Orengo said the opposition coalition would continue mounting pressure for changes to be implemented at the electoral commission.
“We announce that this demonstration will continue on Friday and beginning Monday, it will be held every day,” Orengo said.
But the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK), on Wednesday urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga to put national interests above their partisan interests.
ICPAK national vice-chairperson Ms Rose Mwaura said the election deadlock was impacting negatively on the economy. She said the ongoing turmoil might lead to job cuts to reduce operation costs.
“We are concerned that the continued political uncertainty is hurting our economy. The prolonged political activities have seen Gross Domestic Product growth slow down to five per cent in recent months,” Ms Mwaura said as quoted by Nation.
The opposition had on last week increased its weekly protests against the poll body from two to three days; covering Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
NASA wants, the Wafula Chebukati led Commission to replace service providers such as technology firm Safran (OT Morpho) and Dubai based printing firm Al Ghurair. The side argues that both service providers were part of the scheme that bungled the August poll.
“From Monday they need to know the protests will be daily all over the country. We are not here to joke. If there are no reforms, there will be no elections,” Orengo insisted on Wednesday.
The Siaya Senator said NASA saw no need to be part of the scheduled October 26 poll after IEBC failed to address any of their concerns.
“There is no way the coalition can participate in an election with the same people accused of being the masterminds of the bungled election. Until and after our demands are met we will not negotiate. We will only participate in an election where we know the outcome will be free and fair,” Orengo stated.
The senator warned IEBC against holding an election without NASA leader Raila Odinga. He said that Odinga has not withdrawn his presidential bid “entirely”, but only opted out of the October 26 exercise pending reforms.
On Wednesday, IEBC acknowledged that they had received a letter by Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka seeking to withdraw from the repeat presidential polls.
Following the withdrawal of the NASA presidential candidate, IEBC said, it would communicate way forward after deliberating on the issue with its legal team.