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Kenya Opposition, Judiciary Boycott Parliament Opening

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose petition to re-run the August presidential election over voting irregularities has been upheld by the Supreme Court, is addressing crowds in the opposition stronghold of Kibera in Nairobi.

The timing of the rally is deliberate, taking place at the same time as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s opening address to parliament – an event which hundreds of opposition MPs have boycotted.

Opposition lawmakers were not the only people missing from today’s opening of parliament in Kenya as the Supreme Court judges were also not present, reports the BBC’s Anne Soy.

But this wasn’t a deliberate boycott, instead the judges were not invited according to the chief justice’s office.

Opposition National Super Alliance members were staying away because they said President Uhuru Kenyatta could not open parliament while the country was waiting for the re-run of the presidential election.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled that the result of August’s presidential election, which President Kenyatta won, should be annulled.

In his address President Kenyatta repeated that while he disagreed with that decision he respected it.

But in the hours after the ruling he described Chief Justice David Maraga as a crook.

Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked MPs to uphold the constitution as he opened parliament – its first sitting since the 8 August elections.

Addressing a joint session of the country’s two parliamentary chambers he said that at this point, as Kenya is waiting for a re-run of the annulled presidential election, it is vital that “all of us uphold the supremacy of the constitution and its institutions”.

He repeated his message that although he “strongly disagreed” with the Supreme Court’s decision to annul last month’s presidential vote he “accepted it because of my respect for our constitution”.

BBC

 

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