A Shadow Inauguration Shows Kenya Is Still Not Over Last Year’s Contested Vote

A Shadow Inauguration Shows Kenya Is Still Not Over Last Year’s Contested Vote
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga announces plans to challenge the results of last August’s election in court, Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 16, 2017 (AP photo by Ben Curtis).

Editor’s Note: Every Friday, WPR Associate Editor Robbie Corey-Boulet curates the top news and analysis from and about the African continent.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term more than two months ago, but tensions around his re-election are clearly still fresh in Kenya. This week, the decision by opposition leader Raila Odinga to follow through on threats to stage a shadow inauguration brought those tensions to the forefront, and the government’s response raised questions about Kenyatta’s commitment to civil liberties.

Thousands of Odinga supporters attended Tuesday’s ceremony, where Odinga, holding a Bible, declared himself “the people’s president.” Odinga, who has run unsuccessfully for president four times, lost the election last August but successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify the results because of irregularities. He boycotted the rerun in October, however, saying there was no way the government would organize a credible contest.

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