Raila: I will concede defeat if poll is fair

Nasa leader Raila Odinga addressing residents of Kayole while on a campaign trail on July 14, 2017. He said he would accept defeat if the elections are credible. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • The declaration by the Nasa candidate comes as top Jubilee leadership demand he makes a public his stand on the matter.

Nasa Presidential candidate Raila Odinga says he will concede defeat if he loses in the August 8 elections, but adds the rider that he would only do so if the electoral commission conducts a free, fair, transparent and credible poll.

Mr Odinga gave a raft of conditions which, he said, were key in having an election whose results would be acceptable to all contenders.

The conditions dwelt on the integrity of the voter register and the voter identification devices, which he said are critical if ‘dead’ voters are to be blocked from the poll.

“We are sportsmen who know that in any match there can only be two outcomes; either a win or a loss.

"In the event we lose fairly we shall accept,” he said during an interview at his Karen home aired on NTV on Thursday night.

But he reiterated that the responsibility of ensuring a credible election lies squarely with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission.

“The commission can save the situation by conducting free, fair, transparent and credible polla and no one will hear complaints from us,” he said.

August 8 will be a rematch of the 2013 poll in which Mr Odinga lost to Uhuru Kenyatta.

He filed a petition in the Supreme Court but lost.

The declaration by the Nasa candidate comes as top Jubilee leadership demand he makes a public his stand on the matter.

Election observers from the European Union have warned of possible violence and the reaction of the loser is being seen as key to prevention of post-election chaos.

President Kenyatta’s latest challenge for Mr Odinga to pledge to concede if he is defeated was on Wednesday.

“It is imperative that the former Prime Minister and other opposition challengers reassure the people of Kenya that they will categorically pledge to accept the results of the presidential election and will seek to ensure that elections take place as gazetted,” the President said through a statement by State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu.

The President censured Mr Odinga over his remarks last week that he (the President) was planning to cling to power, saying the assertion was intended to wilfully undermine public confidence in the electoral process.

The President went on: “Our democratic system envisages an incident-free, fair, transparent and credible electoral process.”

But in the Thursday night interview, Mr Odinga dismissed the president’s promise as cynical and double speak, saying the pledge was undermined by statements he has made on the campaign trail demeaning the opposition as an entity incapable of defeating him.