Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga on Sunday called for a strike to support his claim to the presidency and accused the ruling party of “spilling the blood of innocent people”, despite growing pressure on him to concede election defeat. The election commission on Friday declared incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta winner of the presidential poll by 1.4 million votes. International observers said Tuesday’s election was largely fair but Odinga disputes the results, saying it was rigged. He has not provided documentary evidence. “Jubilee have spilt the blood of innocent people. Tomorrow there is no work,” Odinga told a crowd of around 4,000 cheering supporters, referring to the ruling party. He promised to announce a new strategy on Tuesday. Senator James Orengo, one of Odinga’s chief supporters, said the opposition would call for demonstrations. “When we people call you to action, peaceful action, don’t stay behind,” Orengo told the crowd in Kibera, Nairobi‘s largest slum. He also called for a boycott of Nation television and newspapers, Kenya’s largest independent media group, over their coverage of the disputed elections.
The rally, Odinga’s first public speech since Thursday, was a unequivocal message that he has no intention of renouncing his claim to be the winner of Tuesday’s vote despite calls from the international community for him to concede.
There have been deadly clashes between police and civilians in his stronghold areas. Presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu blamed the bloodshed on protesters.
“The violent protests are unlawful,” he said in a statement on Sunday. “The Police will not tolerate breaches of the peace; instead, they will protect the lives and property of Kenyans; and they will restore law and order.”