Odinga, Raila Amolo

Odinga, Raila Amolo

(räē`lä ämō`lō ōdĭn`gä) 1945–, Kenyan political leader, son of Oginga OdingaOdinga, Oginga
, 1911–94, Kenyan political leader. A Luo, he was active in the Kenyan independence movement and later became (1960) vice president of the Kenya African National Union (KANU). After Kenya became a republic in 1964, Odinga served as vice president.
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, Kenya's first vice president. After earning (1970) a degree in mechanical engineering from the Univ. of Magdeburg, East Germany, he returned home and taught at the Univ. of Nairobi. He also founded an industrial consulting firm and became a successful businessman. In 1982 he was accused of participating in a coup plot against President Daniel arap MoiMoi, Daniel Toroitich arap
, 1924–2020, president of Kenya (1978–2002). First named to the legislature in 1955, he opposed Kikuyu and Luo dominance until he joined Kenya's first independent government (1963) and the majority party, the Kenya African National Union
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 and was jailed for six years. Soon incarcerated again (1989, 1990), he fled (1991–92) to Norway; upon his return, he was elected to parliament. In 1997 he ran unsuccessfully for president. Later, he allied himself with the ruling Kenya National African Union and became (2001) Moi's energy minister. Odinga supported Mwai KibakiKibaki, Mwai
(Emilio Mwai Kibaki), 1931–, Kenyan political leader. An economist educated at the London School of Economics, he was elected to Kenya's first parliament (1963) as a member of the Kenya African National Union (KANU).
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 in the 2002 presidential race, and served in Kibaki's cabinet for three years, but he then founded the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and ran against Kibaki in 2007. The ODM won a parliamentary plurality, but Kibaki was declared reelected under questionable circumstances. Ethnic violence subsequently swept Kenya, and negotiations led (to a coalition government with Odinga as prime minister (2008–13). Odinga lost later bids for the presidency to Uhuru KenyattaKenyatta, Uhuru Muigai,
1961–, Kenyan politicial leader, son of Jomo Kenyatta. A Kikuyu, he entered politics in the 1990s, joining the Kenya African National Union (KANU) and ran unsuccessfully for parliament in 1997.
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 in 2013 and 2017, but irregularities led the supreme court to annul the 2017 vote and call for a new election. Odinga demanded election reform first, withdrew from the rerun, and rejected Kenyatta's election, but later (2018) agreed to a national unity program.

Bibliography

See B. A. Badejo, Raila Odinga: An Enigma in Kenyan Politics (2006).

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