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Kenya: Raila Odinga Holds Swearing in Ceremony

Television and radio stations were shut down in Kenya by authorities as Raila Odinga, who lost out to Uhuru Kenyatta in the last elections, hosted his own symbolic swearing in ceremony.

As people assembled, authorities had begun to force independent television and radio stations reporting on the gathering off air, several outlets said – the most widespread censorship for a decade, according to a Reuters report.

“I, Raila Omolo Odinga, do swear that I will protect the nation as people’s president, so help me God,” Odinga said to the cheers of more than 10,000 people in Uhuru Park, near Nairobi’s main business district. The act of the counter-swearing in could be considered a treasonous act, which Odinga was warned of.

If the government wanted to charge Odinga with treason, the offense can carry the death penalty.

Kenyatta’s election victory in August was annulled by the Supreme Court over irregularities, but he was declared the winner in a rerun of the election, which Odinga boycotted over a failure to revamp the electoral commission. Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term in November.