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Kenya opposition leader sets conditions for new presidential election

Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga has set conditions for participating in a fresh presidential election, saying he should be given “legal and constitutional” guarantees after the Supreme Court declared last month’s poll as invalid.

Odinga said on Tuesday that his conditions include the sacking of several election commission officials and a review of the electronic transmission of results.

He also said that all eight presidential candidates who took part in the poll on August 8 should be allowed to contest in the upcoming election.

“You cannot do a mistake twice and expect to get different results,” Odinga told reporters.

The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the election board had committed irregularities that rendered the vote invalid and overturned the victory of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had defeated Odinga, his longtime rival, by a margin of 1.4 million votes.

Reacting to the verdict, Kenyatta said the judges “decided to go against the will of the people,” but chose to respect the decision.

Kenyatta will have to compete with Odinga in a new round of election.

On Monday, the election board said it would hold new elections on October 17. However, Odinga said he wanted elections to be held on October 24 or 31, instead.

“There will be no elections on the seventeenth of October until the conditions that we have spelt out in the statement are met,” he said.

Odinga has contested the last three presidential polls and lost all of them. After each election, he has claimed the votes were rigged.

In 2008, Kenya witnessed weeks of post-election violence that claimed the lives of over 1,000 people after Odinga challenged the vote results. In the 2013 elections, the Supreme Court dismissed his petition.

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