Odinga calls off inauguration ceremony

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga drops plans for mock inauguration.

Kenya's opposition has called off plans for an "inauguration" ceremony of its leader Raila Odinga, of the National Super Alliance (NASA), scheduled for the nation's independence day on 12 December.

Odinga, who boycotted the presidential re-election in October, despite being the main challenger to incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta, has abandoned his ceremony plans to avoid "throwing the country into turmoil", according to a statement from NASA.

The move follows pressure from international diplomats and religious leaders, and comes two weeks after Kenyatta, of the multi-party Jubilee Alliance, was sworn in for a second five-year term as president.

Odinga's cancellation of the planned ceremony also comes days after Kenya's attorney general warned that a mock swearing-in could amount to charges of treason - a crime punishable by death - although Kenya has not executed anybody for 30 years.

The country's political climate has been tense since the contentious August general election in which Kenyatta was declared winner but whose result was subsequently annulled over alleged voting irregularities. In the October re-run Kenyatta won 98 per cent of the vote which was boycotted by the opposition.

At least 58 people have died as a result of protests since the August vote and the country remains divided. 

Kenyatta recently endorsed his deputy William Ruto to succeed him when his five-year term of office ends in 2022.