Kenyan opposition leader calls for strike after disputed election

Supporters of Raila Odinga, leader of the National Super Alliance coalition, protest as the final votes from Kenya's general election are counted in Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday. Provisional results of the presidential poll shows the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta leading Odinga, who rejected the results. Photo by Kabir Dhanji/EPA

Aug. 13 (UPI) — Raila Odinga, Kenya’s opposition leader, on Sunday called for a day of mourning and for his supporters to strike over the disputed results of a general election.

Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission said President Uhuru Kenyatta won the election with 54.3 percent of the vote, while Odinga came in second place with 44.7 percent.

Following the announcement of results, Odinga accused the Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party of electoral fraud. Protests have escalated into violence since the Tuesday election and more than a dozen people have died.

Odinga, the leader of the National Super Alliance opposition coalition, also accused the Jubilee Party of carrying out the killings

“As we mourn Kenyans killed by Jubilee mandated death squads, let’s observe tomorrow as a day of mourning for the fallen patriots,” Odinga wrote on Twitter. “For weeks before 8th August, NASA [National Super Alliance] warned the world of Jubilee killer squads set to be unleashed after the polls. This wasn’t taken seriously.”

Tensions are rising in Kenya as officials are hoping to avoid a repeat of ethnic violence that occurred following Kenya’s 2007 election, when more than 1,200 people died.

During a speech to about 4,000 supporters, Odinga said his followers should strike on Monday.

“This is a failed regime that is resorting to killing people instead of addressing the real issue. The vote was stolen. There’s no secret about that,” Odinga said. “We had predicted they will steal the election and that’s what happened. We are not done yet. We will not give up. Wait for the next course of action which I will announce the day after tomorrow. But for now I want to tell you not to go to work tomorrow Monday.”

The international Elections Observation Group, which deployed 8,300 observers, said its projected outcome for the results had Kenyatta wining with 54 percent of the vote, 0.3 percent shy of the official figure.


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