PM Raila Odinga aggrieved by Financial Times story
NAIROBI, Kenya, March 2 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga says he is astonished by a report in a foreign newspaper that claims he will not accept the results of Monday’s election, should he be trounced.
The premier admits he gave an interview to the Financial Times on Friday, but at no time did he speak of violence should he lose.
“Prime Minister Raila Odinga is deeply intrigued and feels absolutely slandered by the story appearing in the Financial Time that implies he will not accept defeat in the Monday elections however free and fair,” a statement from his office said.
He explained that when asked what would happen if he loses the election, his answer was: “I strongly believe I am going to win this election, and in round one. However, in the likely event that I lose, I believe there will be a role for me in Kenya. I can write my memoirs, I have a family to take care of, and, most importantly, I have a party that I will continue to guide so we can deepen democracy in Kenya. I believe the democratization of Kenya has been my biggest contribution to the country and I want to push it to the end whether I am in or out of elective politics.”
At the interview, he also indicated that if he wins, his government will co-opt his rivals.
“I will want to form an inclusive government, in which all, including my opponents, will have a role, so we can take this country forward.”
Earlier, the Jubilee Coalition Advisory Council had expressed concerns over the article in which the premier is quoted saying that if he is deprived of victory, “it will be because of blackmail and intimidation.”
The article further cited a campaign by his rivals to intimidate his supporters.
While referring to the article in the FT, Jubilee council Secretary Stephen Karau said that the PM should accept the results and if there should be complaints, to address them using legal means.
“We are concerned about the statement ‘If I lose it will be because of blackmail and intimidation.’ We in Jubilee are alarmed by those kinds of words by some of the candidates that are also in the presidential race,” he said.
He exuded confidence that the Jubilee coalition would emerge victorious since it had the best agenda for the nation.
“We have said that if we lose in whatever election that we have agreed to participate in, then we in Jubilee will be ready and willing to accept defeat. If we also beat the opposition, then we also expect them to accept because they have agreed to participate so far,” he stated.