I can’t concede defeat in flawed poll – PM

Odinga told a meeting of leaders who were recently elected under CORD affiliate parties that he had full confidence in the Judiciary/CFM

Odinga told a meeting of leaders who were recently elected under CORD affiliate parties that he had full confidence in the Judiciary/CFM

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 13 – Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) presidential candidate Raila Odinga insists that his conscience cannot allow him to concede defeat in last week’s polls.

Odinga told a meeting of leaders who were recently elected under CORD affiliate parties that he had full confidence in the Judiciary, which he believes will handle his petition and deliver a fair judgment.

“The Supreme Court that we are moving into is itself a product of a long and painful struggle that cost people their careers and their lives. It is now a reality, and should be part of our motivation to defend what we have. Change and democracy are worth fighting for,” Odinga said.

The outgoing Prime Minister said nothing would have made him happier than to concede defeat, but added that his conscience would haunt him if he did.

“Nothing would have pleased me more than to stand there and tell Kenyans that I accept the results, but something disturbed my conscience and I said if I don’t speak this will become institutionalised. Why would Kenyans go to the elections, queue for all those hours and then in the end the results have already been pre-determined?” he asked.

Odinga assured his supporters that CORD had sufficient grounds to petition the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as the fourth president of Kenya.

He told the newly elected Governors, Senators and MPs that the petition was not merely to contest the election but was to defend democracy and secure it for posterity.

“Today the victim may be CORD. Tomorrow, it will be somebody else. Let’s join hands in seeking justice and fairness through the courts of law,” the premier said.

He asked Kenyans to support CORD in its quest for justice and truth through the courts of law to ensure that elections were no longer an exercise to confirm preconceived conditions and positions.

“I could have accepted the results if the polls were credible but we have the responsibility to protect our ballots,” the PM said.

Odinga who came second to Kenyatta in the presidential election is expected to contest the outcome of the poll in the Supreme Court, alleging “massive vote tampering”.

Odinga has said that every instrument deployed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) failed and that there was interference with the voter register following failure of the electronic voter identification kit.

At the same time, Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka termed claims that he had given up on the presidential petition as ‘opportunism’ that he will not engage in.

“A friend called me last night and told me, Mr VP you have the opportunity to be a statesman, just go out there and announce that this election is behind us. I told them for goodness sake this is a man with a commitment to deliver this nation,” he said

Musyoka spoke as Kitui and Machakos County Governor race losers Kiema Kilonzo (Narc) and Mutua Katuku, as well as more than 300 politicians mainly from the Wiper Democratic Movement – which is a part of CORD coalition – said they were not part of CORD case and wanted Kenya needs to focus on other issues after the General Election.

They stated that this was the time for the nation to rally together behind President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta for nation building and want to see him assume office and move the country forward from where President Mwai Kibaki has left it.

Addressing a press conference at a Nairobi hotel, the leaders announced that they firmly backed Kenyatta and were ready to work with him.

LABAN WANAMBISI

Laban Wanambisi is a Parliamentary and Political reporter. He joined the Capital Newsteam in 2005. Since then, he has reported on many of the major news events over the years including his first major assignment covering the 2005 National Referendum on the Draft Constitution, and several other subsequent key national and international events.