Kenya opposition leader Raila Odinga has sworn himself in as “president of the people.” The government responded by declaring the opposition’s ‘National Resistance Movement’ a criminal group.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga took an oath of office as what Kenya’s opposition coalition has named the “president of the people.” “I, Raila Omolo Odinga, do swear that I will protect the nation as people’s president, so help me God,” he said. His running mate Kalonzo Musyoka who was supposed to be sworn in as his deputy did not appear at Odinga’s side.
Thousands of opposition supporters had gathered in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park on Tuesday for the staged “inauguration.” Authorities had initially warned the opposition to not gather in the park, but security forces remained at a distance and allowed the ceremony to go ahead. Following the ceremony, the government issued a notice, declaring the opposition’s National Resistance Movement illegal.
The event comes two months after President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term following an election re-run in October. Odinga insists the vote was stolen from him, and that he — not Kenyatta — is Kenya’s rightful leader.
A number of television and radio networks that had planned to broadcast the opposition’s ceremony said government authorities had forced them off the air, although many continued to stream live online. The attorney general has also warned Odinga he could face treason charges over the stunt.