NYT takes back criticism of Raila Odinga after top court victory

The New York Times has taken back on its criticism of opposition leader Raila Odinga after he successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election.

In an editorial on Sunday, the in dismissing complaints raised by Mr Odinga and his National Super Alliance before the vote results were announced, and accused him of fanning ethnic violence.

REBUKE

On Friday, Supreme Court judges in a majority decision nullified the election on account that there had been significant irregularities in results transmission.

The Paper said the decision demonstrated that “democratic institutions are capable of acting independently.”

“The ruling was also a rebuke to international monitors and diplomats — and to this page — who were too quick to dismiss charges of irregularities…”

“The fears (of violence) were real, but the rush to judgment (sic) overlooked, among other things, that the supervisor of a new electronic voting system, Christopher Chege Msando, had been murdered and apparently tortured days before the election.”

On August 13, just two days after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission announced President Kenyatta had won his second The Times penned an editorial titled the ‘Real Suspense in Kenya’.

RESPECT

The paper pummelled Mr Odinga with criticism, calling him a “perennial loser.”

“Mr Odinga has once again fanned the embers of ethnic strife. That is disgraceful and unnecessary,” it said citing the many international observers who had given the poll an okay.

And while The Times argued claims of fraud in the transmission system had to be investigated, it generally disproved Mr Odinga’s refusal to concede.

With many observers coming forth to ‘clarify’ their initial comments on the poll, The Times may have taken cue to put its position clear.

On Sunday, it called on all parties to respect independent institutions, and urge their supporters to be calm.

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