, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 17 – Deputy President William Ruto has asked the NASA leadership to stop issuing demands if they had withdrawn from the October 26 repeat elections.
Ruto asked how a party that had claimed to have withdrawn from the election can issue new demands on who should print the ballot papers, mode of result transmission, appointment of election management officials and above all demonstrating.
“It seems NASA has not decided whether they are in the presidential race or not. If they have withdrawn, why are they giving conditions on how the elections should be held?” Ruto asked.
The Deputy President said NASA leader Raila Odinga wanted to foment a crisis and appeal to foreign governments intervention for the formation of a Coalition Government.
Ruto warned that negotiating a power sharing agreement would render the Constitution, which provides that elections are conducted, useless.
“What stops another leader creating a crisis in other elections so that they can share power? What happens to the Constitution which provides that leaders are elected by the people?”
Ruto told foreign correspondents in an interview at his Karen residence, Nairobi that Odinga was employing excuses to run away from a humiliating defeat.
Ruto said he was sure Odinga wanted to avoid an embarrassment by majority of voters including those from areas perceived to be his strongholds who have lost faith in the Opposition.
Addressing the Foreign Correspondents of East Africa (FCEA) on Tuesday, the Deputy President said the move by Odinga was also a strategy to allow him run again in 2022 and throw off balance NASA co-principals who he had promised he will only run in 2017.
“In my honest opinion, Mr Odinga is running away from a humiliating defeat. He has to come with excuses to justify his move. It is also a strategy because he wants to run again in 2022,” said Ruto.
“Mr Odinga is running away because he can’t change the numbers and he knows that he can’t win the October 26 election,” he added.
The Deputy President said Jubilee was taking issues pertaining to the repeat presidential election seriously and would not succumb to attempts by the Opposition to delegitimize the October 26 election.
Ruto dismissed the perception that there was crisis in the country, saying the Opposition has manufactured and created such a situation because it can’t face Jubilee at the ballot.
“The Opposition leaders have manufactured and created a crisis because they can’t ask legitimate Kenyans for their votes and they are now creating chaotic situations to pave way for political solutions at the expense of democracy,” said Ruto.
He went on: “They (Opposition) are doing whatever they can to create a situation including making the country ungovernable so as to achieve their political ends outside the Constitution.”
The Deputy President termed NASA leaders as political hypocrites who only believe that there was democracy in the country when things go their way.
Ruto particularly took issue with the manner in which the NASA leadership was now criticizing presidential candidate Ekuru Aukot after successfully filing a case demanding to be included in the presidential race.
“The other day, NASA leaders were demanding that Mr Aukot must participate in the repeat presidential elections and now that his name is among the contestants, they have turned against him, terming him a Jubilee project. Isn’t this not double speak?” asked Ruto.
The Deputy President, at the same time, said Jubilee has no problem with the IEBC implementing the conditions set by NASA, saying its interest was to have a credible election on October 26.
“We have no problem with IEBC agreeing with our competitors on the minimum conditions or irreducible minimums. They can agree on a new supplier of ballot papers, issues of technology, sacking of Chiloba so long as it is within the Constitution and Supreme Court ruling that elections be held in 60 days,” said Ruto.
The Deputy President also said Parliament had passed laws in a move to addressing the gaps following the ruling by the Supreme Court that nullified the August 8 presidential elections.
He said Kenya has a vibrant Judiciary which could render its judgement if the laws that were passed, now awaiting Presidential assent, were unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, Ruto has assured Kenyans that no one would be victimized for engaging in peaceful demonstrations.
He, however, warned that the government would not hesitate to take action against those who misuse the freedom of association to loot, destroy property, harm others and the police.
Ruto said the police oversight authority was investigating claims that police might have used excessive force on the demonstrators in some parts of the country as well as claims that some civilians were armed during such demonstrations.
“Our position is that those who demonstrate must abide by the Constitution and the rule of law. We must embrace peaceful demonstrations as enshrined in the Constitution,” he said.
“Police have the responsibility to protect Kenyans from looters, rioters and criminals,” he added.