Kenyan opposition leader, Ralia Odinga has sworn himself in as ‘president’ as an alternative president, three months after he claims the presidential election was stolen from him.
The ceremony drew his supporters in Nairobi, the country’s capital today. The planned “inauguration” has earlier raised fears of violence as police had vowed not to allow the event to go ahead.
After the inauguration, he tweeted, ‘I wish to thank the people of Kenya for the mandate they have given us and for their steadfast confidence in us. You came from all corners of the republic to witness my inauguration and it was good to see you out in millions’.
However, officers kept their distance as hundreds gathered at the Uhuru park venue. Odinga, 72, a veteran opposition leader who claims he has had three elections stolen from him, has refused to accept President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election, which came after a deeply divisive 2017 polls season in which rights activists say at least 92 people were killed.
First was an election on August 8, won by Kenyatta, which was annulled in a historic decision by the Supreme Court, which ordered a re-run on October 26. Claiming the poll would not be fair, Odinga boycotted the second vote and Kenyatta won with 98 percent.
Odinga postponed a previous effort to swear himself in last month, but his party insists Tuesday’s event will take place.