The return to the campaign trail yesterday by Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga is understood to be a result of direct pressure by Western envoys who have been warning him against engaging in activities that could lead to chaos.
Also pushing Raila to abandon his hardline stand and threats to boycott the October 26 repeat presidential election are leading African diplomats, mainly from the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) who have warned against unconstitutional means of grabbing power.
A Western diplomat who spoke in confidence to People Daily last week said: “We have put him under heavy pressure, he should choose between going to the election, which he asked for through the Supreme Court, or just boycott without calling for mass action, which is another word for chaos.”
Travel bans The diplomat said Raila had been warned that if chaos erupted from his protests against the electoral commission, he – and his Nasa co-principals – risked being slapped with travel bans to Western nations.
Yesterday, despite maintaining the demands for “irreducible minimums” that must be met before Raila and Kalonzo Musyoka can go to the poll, the Nasa top brass launched a campaign in Mumias and Busia where they called on their supporters to turn out in large numbers to vote on October 26.
Yesterday was the first time since Raila’s last full-fledged campaign at Uhuru Park on August 5, before the August 8 election, that he went all out to ask his supporters for votes, without saying he could boycott the poll.
In Mumias and Busia, Raila maintained his call for protests against IEBC is on this morning, but did not emphasise the message, mostly dwelling on his claims that he was robbed of the August 8 poll and calling out his supporters to vote.