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13

2017

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Raila Odinga Poll Snub A Strategical Master stroke

By Nanjala Nyabola

In a surprising turn of events, Raila Odinga announced on October 10 that he was withdrawing from the scheduled October 26 rerun of the 2017 presidential election. In September, the Supreme Court of Kenya held, by a 4-2 majority, that the original August 8 election was invalid because it was not held to the standard required by the law, granting Odinga a second shot at the presidency.

Superficially, Raila withdrawing from the polls with barely a fortnight to go would seem like a tremendous waste of political momentum for him personally, and the country's time, money and energy more broadly.

However, upon examining the myriad of laws, regulations and court decisions that govern the election process in Kenya, the net effect of Raila's decision may be effectively extending the election timetable - buying both his coalition and the Independent

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