Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: Odinga to Contest Result, Appeals for Peace

Nairobi — Outgoing Prime Minister Raila Odinga who came second to Uhuru Kenyatta in the presidential election, vowed on Saturday to contest the results in the Supreme Court, alleging "massive tampering" of the March 4 vote.

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

He claimed that voter numbers were reduced in their strongholds citing Ndhiwa Constituency while they were increased in the strongholds of the Jubilee coalition.

"This is not the time to point to the other examples of rampant illegality. That time will come... shortly we will move to court to challenge the outcome that was announced by the IEBC," he said moments after the commission announced the result.

"It is clear that a constitutionally sanctioned process of electing the new set leaders to take us to the next level has been thwarted by another tainted election," added Odinga who was flanked by fellow coalition principal Moses Wetangula and businessman S.K Macharia.

A calm looking Odinga, dressed in a blue suit admitted that he would have readily conceded defeat if 'IEBC attempted to deliver a reasonably honest election'

He insisted that agents deployed by the Coalition for Reform and Democracy to the national tallying centre were kicked out and could not verify the results IEBC was announcing.

Odinga who has seven days starting Saturday to file the petition said that he would respect the ruling of the Supreme Court even if it went against him.

"We only want to lead Kenyans if they want us to. We have no other vested interests," added Odinga whose running mate Kalonzo Musyoka was away attending the burial of the former chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya, Samuel Kivuitu.

Odinga called on supporters to maintain calm; to respect the rule of law and to look upon each other as brothers and sisters.

"Any violence now could destroy the country forever, and that would not serve anyone's interests," Odinga stressed.

Kenyatta, son of Kenya's founding president and one of Africa's richest men who faces international crimes against humanity trial, narrowly got enough votes to avoid a runoff against Odinga.

Odinga's charges on Saturday echo accusations in the 2007 presidential polls when he alleged he was robbed of victory, with disputed results triggering bloody ethnic violence in which more than 1,100 people were killed.

Kenyatta took 50.07 percent of the vote, according to IEBC figures, scraping by the 50 percent threshold needed to avoid a second round by around 8,400 votes, but beating Odinga by more than 800,000 votes.

"Let the Supreme Court determine whether the result announced by the IEBC is the lawful one," said Odinga adding that he had "faith in the judiciary."

Kenyatta received 6,173,433 votes out of a total 12,330,028 ballots cast, while Odinga got 43.31 percent.

LORDRICK MAYABI

Lordrick is a graduate of the University of Nairobi with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. He is passionate about political and governance issues. He also takes keen interest in human rights matters, justice and is fond of sports.

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