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Kenya: Raila Odinga’s options to beat Ruto narrow after BBI defeat

By Morris Kiruga
Posted on Tuesday, 31 August 2021 21:33

Back in the day... both presidential candidates in the 2013 elections, William Ruto (L) and Raila Odinga (R) present a united front during pre-election peace prayers. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

With the work of the last four years thrown out by Kenya's courts, veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga will likely now turn to campaign mode. But the opportunity to try out new political alliances is now gone.

On Friday 20 August, a bench of Kenya’s Court of Appeal ruled against constitutional changes proposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga. The ruling, which affirmed most of an earlier ruling by a lower court, now means that the options for the two political leaders have drastically reduced.

The proposed amendments, the culmination of a process that began with the former rivals making peace after a highly contested election, would have seen Kenya going into a referendum before the August 2022 elections. The proposals were wide ranging, but among the most contentious were alleged gerrymandering with new constituencies, and a rearranged executive structure that would have reintroduced a Prime Minister position.