Nairobi — Musalia Mudavadi of the Amani coalition has conceded defeat in Kenya's gripping presidential election, just hours before tallying was set to be concluded.
Mudavadi who had been trailing Raila Odinga of the Coalition for Reform and Democracy and leader Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee coalition threw in the towel after it increasingly became clear he could not narrow the gap.
"In every competition there has to be winners and losers. We are not the winners this time. This far the choice of the Kenyan people is between Jubilee and CORD," he acknowledged.
"I appeal to you (supporters) to keep the faith as we look to the future with hope. We must now join other Kenyans and be part of building our institutions in accordance with the new Constitution for the country to move on," he added saying that he will consolidate the coalition before the next election.
By 1pm, Kenyatta was leading with 4,867,683 votes against Odinga's 4,335,488 votes.
Mudavadi who conceded defeat at his campaign secretariat in Kileleshwa said that he was satisfied with what the supporters of his coalition had delivered.
Mudavadi was guarded on his judgment of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for the conduct of the election, but called on the commission to ensure that it retained public confidence in the remaining tallying stage.
"Everyone has his misgivings about tallying but the process has to continue, we have to look at the bigger picture," he said.
"This election has been a living demonstration of universal and popular democracy at its highest and noblest levels. So far, Kenyans have had their say without fear, favour or ethnic or regional strife."
"Consequently I appeal to IEBC to also do everything possible not to be seen to cause anxiety or to precipitate contention on the final results through acts of omission or commission in the tallying of results," he insisted.
Mudavadi who was seeking the presidency for the first time managed to secure four senators, three governors and 21 MPs under the United Democratic Forum party.
He disclosed he had already held telephone conversations with fellow competitors Kenyatta and Odinga and urged them to ensure peace was maintained.
"The gist of our conversation has been to impress on them the need to ensure that we remain peaceful and that the country is not ruptured by whichever way the outcome of the ongoing presidential tally goes."
"I have pointed out to them that all of us may have misgivings about some issues in the conduct of elections. However, Kenya is bigger than the sum total of presidential candidates and our supporters' wishes," he added.
When asked about whom he will support in case the election results necessitated a runoff, Mudavadi said that it will be a product of consultations with members of the coalition.
He was accompanied by, his running mate Jeremiah Kioni and senators-elect Gideon Moi, Boni Khalwale, and George Khaniri among other winners, losers and party officials.