22 January 2013

Kenya: Accept Defeat, Forge Peace - Prime Minister

Nairobi — Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Tuesday called for peace as he urged those who had lost in the just-concluded nominations under the CORD alliance support the winners in readiness for the March 4 general election.

Speaking ahead of a tour to the Eastern region, the premier regretted that there was violence during nominations - which he stressed affected various parties - and urged Kenyans to observe peace.

"My word to all of them is that we need everybody on board. Let all of us join hands now, the winners and those they beat, to campaign for our victory on March 4," he asserted.

"I urge calm and reconciliation now that the primaries are over. I wish to see an end to all hostilities that may have arisen out of the strong demand for the various tickets. Elections and nominations must never divide us or make us go to war. They should strengthen our march towards democracy and national unity," he said.

The premier also asked the media to stop being biased in their reports explaining that violence was not experienced only in Nyanza but also in other parts of the country.

He also said he was not in Nyanza and his name should not be mentioned when the media are reporting on violence during the nominations.

"If you look at Central Kenya, there was equally violence, you (the media) are putting a blind eye on what was happening in other parts of the country. The violence in Rift Valley was even worse than what was happening in Nyanza. It was deliberate to try to highlight what was only happening in Nyanza," Odinga regretted.

During the nominations, violence broke out in Siaya and Kisumu after supporters opposed apparent wins by Odinga's brother Oburu and his sister Ruth. The two relatives of the PM are however no longer in the race after Oburu was locked out by the elections board and Ruth opted out.

Violence was also reported in Murang'a, Kibera and other parts in the country.

He also condemned any attempts to buy voters, which is one of the complaints raised especially in the just concluded nominations.

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