Kenya’s National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga has demanded fresh elections by August but ruled out any plans to lead a coup against President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In a three minute BBC interview, Mr Odinga maintained that he did not recognise Mr Kenyatta as the President “since he does not have the legitimacy of the people”.
Mr Odinga, who was sworn in as the “people’s president” last week, appeared to backtrack on his pledge to name a cabinet, saying he would push for the creation of a people’s convention to deliberate on matters from regional assemblies instead.
“We are going to deliberate on a number of issues such as electoral justice, reform of the Judiciary, restructuring of the executive power among others,” Mr Odinga said.
The comments came even as a team, led by National Super Alliance strategist David Ndii, said the opposition would unveil a team to assist Mr Odinga in his national duties as the “people’s president” at a national convention to be held by the end of February.
Dr Ndii’s team maintained that Nasa would continue holding People’s Assembly meetings in various counties before a national inauguration by the end of the month.
Already, 15 county assemblies have passed motions to form the people’s assemblies.
The Committee on People’s Assemblies under Dr Ndii told reporters at Okoa Kenya offices in Lavington, Nairobi, that it would not be distracted by the arbitrary arrests of its leaders and “we will remain focused on our ultimate goal of having a credible election by August”.
He said the team had lined up a number of resolutions touching on electoral justice, restructuring the Kenyan State and strengthening and defending devolution.
“We plan to convene the inaugural National Convention at the end of February. The resolutions of the convention will be validated by the people through a referendum,” Dr Ndii said.
“Our goal is to see the People’s Assembly process culminate in a presidential election under a new electoral regime no later than August 2018.”
On how Mr Odinga would operate as the people’s president without trappings of power, Dr Ndii said the most important thing was the will of the people, “which is with Mr Odinga”.
“Before the Europeans came, we lived, governed ourselves and flourished without the structures, trappings of power and symbols that now dominate our imagination of government,” he said.
“The government is not these things. The government is the will of the people. On January 30, the people spoke. The rest is detail.”
Last month, Attorney General Githu Muigai moved to court to challenge the formation of People’s Assemblies.
“The establishment of the assemblies by county assemblies is an illegality as the institution is alien to the Constitution. Neither is it within the framework of the County Governments Act or any other legislation,” Prof Muigai said.
The opposition announced that it is determined to end the culture of impunity, abuse of power and electoral fraud.