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Raila: Why I challenged IEBC's move to declare Uhuru president

Saturday March 16 2013

Prime Minister Raila Odinga addresses a news conference in Nairobi March 16, 2013. Mr Odinga said he would challenge Uhuru Kenyatta's win in the General Election. He is flanked by Kalonzo Musyoka (left) and other Cord leaders. JENNIFER MUIRURI

Prime Minister Raila Odinga addresses a news conference in Nairobi March 16, 2013. Mr Odinga said he would challenge Uhuru Kenyatta's win in the General Election. He is flanked by Kalonzo Musyoka (left) and other Cord leaders. JENNIFER MUIRURI  

By JUSTUS WANGA [email protected]

Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Saturday outlined an alleged string of malpractices he said occurred in the just-concluded electoral process which informed his decision to challenge the presidential results at the Supreme Court.

Mr Odinga was also quick to add that his Cord alliance has confidence in the Judiciary and believe it will adjudicate the matter and serve justice.

“… The one institution in which all Kenyans still have faith is our new Judiciary. It is faith based on their achievements in the last two years,” he said appealing to Cord supporters to remain calm as the judges deal with the case.

At a press conference ahead of the filing of the petition at the highest court in the land, Mr Odinga, flanked by his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, said there was had been gross failure on the part of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission leading to the declaration of Mr Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the presidential race.

“We spent tens of billions of shillings. And yet every mechanism and every instrument the IEBC deployed failed miserably,” Mr Odinga said.

“I am not challenging the election outcome because I am determined to be declared president; but I realised that to do otherwise would be a betrayal of the new Constitution and democracy given the malpractices,” he said.

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And declaring that he would accept the court’s ruling on the petition, the Premier called on Mr Kenyatta, the president-elect, to follow suit and publicly state whether he would embrace whatever decision the court hands down.

“I have repeatedly indicated my commitment to respect and abide by the Supreme Court ruling. I invite my brother Uhuru to publicly do the same. His joining me would strike a huge blow for the rule of law in Kenya and would also immediately reduce tensions generated by this election outcome,” Mr Odinga said. (DOWNLOAD: Summary of Raila Odinga Petition)

He claimed that as early as in February, the IEBC had made numerous alterations to the voter register and that it was hard to know exactly which one they eventually used on election day.

“Between February and March, the IEBC had tinkered with the final register severally, and it is not clear which register was in fact used in the final tallying of votes,” he said.

He accused the poll body of colluding with TNA party, on whose ticket Mr Kenyatta ran, to share vital data on the day of elections and even as tallying was ongoing.

“How did IEBC allow Kencall to co-host both its server and that of TNA, which may have compromised the integrity of the electoral process or at very least indicates that the TNA had access to information that should have been confidential to IEBC alone?” he asked.

He said what had convinced Cord that there could have been some planned foul play on the part of the commission was IEBC’s inability to act on complaints they raised.

“Despite my agents regularly updating and complaining to the IEBC about the incidents of electoral fraud, malpractices and irregularities they discovered during the elections, the IEBC neglected, refused or failed to act,” he said.

The Cord alliance presidential candidate said Mr Issack Hassan, the IEBC chairman, relied on unsigned Form 36s to announce the final presidential results.

“The results were declared on the basis of unsigned Form 36. Brazen disregard by the IEBC of the entries on the files of constituencies which were eventually reflected in the final tally of the presidential results and much more,” he said.

He also cited cases where to him, valid votes declared exceeded the number of registered voters at some polling centres.

Mr Musyoka urged both the police and Cord supporters to exercise restraint as the court handles the matter.

“Today we have seen police hurl teargas at very peaceful Kenyans; this is unacceptable in a mature democracy like ours. We also call upon our supporters to carry themselves with decorum as justice takes its course,” the VP said.

The six Supreme Court judges under the presidency of Chief Justice Willy Mutunga are tasked with determining the case that will ultimately change the political map of the country, however they rule.