Opposition flag bearer Raila Odinga says he will accept defeat if he loses on August 8 — if all voters are identified through biometrics and Al-Ghurair company does not print presidential ballot papers.
NASA’s presidential candidate climbed down from his hardline stance, saying the opposition will accept the presidential results if the electoral commission meets the two conditions.
“If the EVIDS [electronic voter identification devices] function properly that will eliminate the possibility of ghost voters and dead voters resurrecting, voting and then going back to their graves … If we can get assurance from IEBC that is not going to be the case and that nobody is going to vote unless they are identified biometrically, then we will accept the results,” Raila said.
The former Prime Minister spoke on Thursday night during a live interview on NTV from his Karen home.
He also said he does not mind if IEBC comes up with an agreed proper mechanism to identify eligible voters whose biometric details may not show up on Election Day.
Raila has been under immense pressure from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee brigade to publicly declare whether he is ready to accept Presidential results if he loses.
Uhuru has accused Raila of inciting his supporters to prepare to reject the results, while the opposition leader has lashed out at Kenyatta, saying Jubilee is plotting to reject defeat.
On Friday, Raila maintained that he will not accept the election results if the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission does not award the tender for printing presidential ballots to another company. He says it is biased and improperly associated with the President’s family.
NASA has moved to court to stop Al-Ghurair from printing presidential ballots. It had been awarded a Sh2.5 billion contract to print ballots for all seats.
The High Court cancelled the tender to print presidential ballots, saying there was inadequate public participation. The IEBC appealed and the hearing of the appeal was on Friday.
Raila asked why the IEBC was so determined to have the Dubai-based firm print the presidential ballots.
The IEBC would need at least 50 days to tender afresh, meaning the August 8 election would have to be postponed.
Raila said some top commission officials could have been bribed.
“This company seems to be the only one, according to IEBC, that can print the ballot papers. There is something sinister about this company.
“Some people ate commissions from this company so that they cannot do away with it,” Raila said.
The opposition leader claimed that IEBC has enough time to single-source and award the presidential ballots tender to another company.
“IEBC still has time to have the ballots printed elsewhere. I want the country to know this,” he stressed.
There is still time
Dismissing an argument by IEBC that the commission had run out of time to issue a fresh tender, Raila emphasised that in the past the commission used to have just three weeks after presentation of nomination papers to print ballots for election.
“We want to have confidence in the IEBC but they have not inspired our confidence,” the ODM boss said.
He stressed the need for IEBC to stand firm and “save this country” by conducting a free, fair, transparent and credible election.
Asked whether he believed he was unbeatable, Raila said only a miracle will enable Jubilee to win.
He revealed that NASA has been contracting international pollsters to secretly conduct presidential popularity surveys. They have delivered impressive, confidence-inspiring results, Raila said.
“That is why we are talking with such confidence. The country is tired of the Jubilee regime, the country is going to speak very loudly on August 8,” the flagbearer said.
Raila, making a fourth attempt at the presidency, accused local pollsters of falsifying opinion polls. He said the opposition will not engage them.
“We don’t want to publish polls now because we know they [locals firms] are going to lie to the country. We know where we stand,” Raila added.