Leading presidential candidate Raila Odinga says he is willing to concede defeat in the August polls “in the unlikely event that I lose”.
However, the ODM leader says the only condition for him to concede defeat to his main rival William Ruto is if the elections will be free and fair.
“If the elections are free, fair, transparent and verifiable, then I see no reason why somebody should not concede defeat and congratulate the winner. It happened in 1997. At the time, I conceded that we had lost the election and we would try another time,” Raila told the Sunday Nation.
Adding: “I see no reason why, if elections are free and fair, I should not congratulate the winner in the unlikely event that I lose the elections.”
Odinga also expressed concern over the preparedness of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct the August 9 polls.
“You need to understand that IEBC only appointed its chief executive officer last week, same to the deputy CEO and important heads of various departments. So, it is too soon to say whether or not one has confidence in it. That is why I am talking about a work in progress,” Odinga said.
“If it was already an existing situation with all the commissioners and the secretariat fully in place, then that would be a different case. But what I am saying is that the IEBC needs to cultivate confidence and give us hope that everything is going to be free and fair.”
The former Prime Minister said the IEBC must start a serious discussions with political parties.
“I have said that we want the electoral commission to help us build confidence and we have asked the commission’s chairman [Wafula Chebukati] to open up dialogue with the stakeholders, which are political parties, as we move forward. This way, stakeholders can audit every aspect of this electoral process,” Raila said.