Deputy President William Ruto has exuded confidence in his ability to win the presidential election, suggesting that the gap between him and his first runner-up would be too big to allow for rigging.
His sentiments come on the back of uproar over remarks made by a Member of Parliament on Thursday, in which she alleged that the Jubilee administration compromised the election results in 2017.
Speaking at Kuresoi Constituency in Nakuru County on Friday, February 11, the deputy president said he’s confident to secure a Round One victory in the presidential polls.
“If you look at us, [and the support we enjoy across the country], do you think we’d allow anyone to snatch our victory?” Ruto posed.
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The DP’s communications director, Emmanuel Talam, said on Twitter that the MP’s Thursday remarks suggested that Jubilee Party leadership was planning to rig in their preferred candidate Raila Odinga.
The lawmaker’s comments, which were made during a Nyanza tour, sparked uproar on social media, with Kenyans urging leaders to avoid utterances that could plunge the country into deadly post-poll chaos.
“We have put in place enough measures to shield our votes from theft. We will triumph over our opponents, and they won’t be in a position to snatch our victory,” said Ruto, who was accompanied to Nakuru by ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya party chief Moses Wetang’ula, among others.
The deputy president said Kiambaa by-election, in which United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate John Njuguna Wanjiku was declared the winner against Jubilee candidate Njama Kariri, is manifest enough that systems can work, and that parties can put in place measures to ring-fence the vote.
In the July 15, 2021 by-election, Wanjiku overcame stiff competition from Kariri to emerge victorious with 21,773 votes. Kariri garnered 21,263 votes in a contest that went down to the wire. The difference in the number of votes was 510, out of 43,700 votes cast.
“We beat them (Jubilee Party) in the Kiambaa by-election. Did they have any (inappropriate) reaction?” posed Ruto.
On his part, Mudavadi termed the Thursday remarks by the MP as “reckless”.
“We cannot afford to have our democracy undermined. All [leadership, political and social problems] that we have in this country after every election year are because of rigged polls,” Mudavadi said.
Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula said they know every trick in the book to defeat Raila Odinga at the ballot box.
“We have worked with Odinga in the past. We know all his secrets, and we’ll use that against him,” said Wetang’ula.
“We are appealing for fair polls that would not end in the courts. We want a Round One victory,” he said.
The Standard has reached IEBC chief executive officer Marjan Hussein Marjan for comment.