NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – Outgoing Prime Minister Raila Odinga has formally accepted the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the announcement of Uhuru Kenyatta as president-elect by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Odinga addressed a press statement an hour after delivery of the Supreme Court’s judgement at 5pm.
“It is my hope that the incoming government will have fidelity to our Constitution, and implement it to the letter for the betterment of our people,” Odinga said.
He went on to wish Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto well as they go on to form the next government; “I wish president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy president-elect William Ruto best of luck in this endeavour.”
The premier said he remains confident in the Judiciary despite the Supreme Court not ruling in his favour and said his concession was made in the interest of peace and so that the economy will no longer be held hostage by the electoral process.
“Although we may not agree with some of its findings, and despite all the anomalies we have pointed out, our belief in constitutionalism remains supreme.”
“Casting doubt on the judgement of the Court could lead to higher political and economic uncertainty, and make it more difficult for our country to move forward.”
The petitioner expressed disappointment at the Supreme Court’s decision to disallow evidence on the premise that the requests were filed late and at the stringent time lines that did not allow the Court enough time to carry out deeper investigations into their grievances.
“In the end, Kenyans lost their right to know what indeed happened,” he said.
In spite of that, Odinga went on to thank his legal team for their effort as well as all those who supported his petition.
“I want to thank Senior Counsel George Oraro and the members of his legal team for their hard work and devotion in the quest for justice. I would also like to pay special tribute to the AFRICOG legal team led by Kethi Kilonzo for their immense contribution to the rule of law and democracy.”
The Premier was flanked by the outgoing Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka who was his running mate under the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) and Odinga said they had no regrets for choosing to challenge IEBC’s declaration of Kenyatta as president-elect.
“I and my brother and running mate honourable Kalonzo have no regrets for taking our case to court.”
“Indeed, it is our view that this court process is yet another milestone in our long road towards democracy for which we have fought so long,” he said.
After expressing his thanks to his supporters, Odinga went on to call on Kenyans to remain peaceful and united as Senate nominee Elizabeth Ongoro shed a tear.
“The future of Kenya is bright. Let us not allow the elections to divide us. Let us reunite as a nation.”
“I call on Kenyans – our supporters and opponents alike – to remember the sacred words of our National Anthem: Justice be our shield and defender.”
Questions remain over what the future has in store for the outgoing Premier and Vice President, but Odinga said whatever the future holds, he will continue to serve Kenya.
“I want to assure you that I will continue to work for you and with you to build our country Kenya and to help you achieve your dreams.”