, SOUTH COAST, Kenya, Dec 17 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has assured the nation that the CORD alliance is ready to accept the outcome of the 2013 General Election if the IEBC guarantees a free and fair process.
He said Coalition for Reform and Democracy leaders will respect the result of a democratic process but challenged proponents of rival alliances to also declare their commitment to go by the will of the people even when the outcome goes against their expectations.
The premier cautioned politicians to discard the notion that there was no life after losing an election and urged them to accept the verdict of the majority voters to minimise chances of a recurrence of events that characterised the last polls.
“We as the politicians must resist the temptation to believe that ascending to public office is a do or die affair,” he stressed.
Odinga told the opening session of the Speaker’s roundtable conference at a South Coast hotel on Monday that elections must be restricted to a battle of ideas where the team that has the competence to manage resources wins the confidence of the public.
He faulted the unfolding political scenario in the country where some politicians were feeding their communities with imaginary fears and perceptions to influence their voting pattern.
The premier urged politicians to restrict their argument on issues affecting the electorates instead of engaging in character assassination and inciting statements in their campaigns.
He expressed fears that some had gone cynical to the extent of making communities believe that they were poor because members of other communities living among them or because they have not produced a president.
“They are made to believe that they face a bleak and uncertain future if so and so becomes the president,” Odinga said.
He said politicians must play their part but challenged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to win the confidence of competing groups by eliminating possible hitches that might affect voters on polling day.
The premier asked the IEBC to ensure that voters had an opportunity to cross check and verify their details to make corrections before the election date.
“IEBC must check its machines and get all materials and contingency plans ready before the voting day to ensure that polling day is not wasted in protests by disappointed voters,” he said.
Odinga also tipped security agencies, election observers, the media and the judiciary to play along in the collective responsibility to ensure that the country remained united before and after the polls.
President Mwai Kibaki presided over the opening ceremony of the three-day conference which is a partnership of Parliament and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) to deliberate ways of protecting the interest of the business community during elections.
Key speakers including Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende and KEPSA chairman Patrick Obath resolved to work together to make the March 4, 2013 election a success.