I'm not bitter following loss to Ruto, Raila says, remaining noncommittal about 2027

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga speaking during the launch of Kigoto Maize Mill in Suba South, Homa Bay County on November 4, 2022. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga says he is not bitter that he lost the August 9, 2022 presidential election to President William Ruto.

He says that his dissatisfaction with the polls outcome is motivated by his belief that the election was not free and fair.

Speaking on Citizen Television on Tuesday, December 27, Raila said: “Kenyans elected their leaders, from MCAs all the way to the president. The process was fairly smooth, people turned up and voted. The only issue that went wrong was the management of the presidential election.”

According to Raila, the chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Wafula Chebukati singlehandedly picked the winner of the presidential polls.

“It’s unfortunate that the chairman of the commission divided the commission, and went ahead to declare results that he only knows where he got them from. For two days, they (IEBC) had stopped the portal that displayed [presidential] results [at the Bomas of Kenya]. At the time, results from 29 constituencies hadn’t been received.

“I am not bitter, because the [presidential] election isn’t for Raila Odinga, but it’s for Kenyans. We want an audit of these results so that Kenyans can have confidence in the IEBC ahead of the 2027 and subsequent elections,” he said.

Asked whether he will be on the ballot paper in 2027, the ODM boss was noncommittal.

“I’m not talking about running for president. I am concerned about what happened [in the August 9, 2022 presidential election]. I want the [electoral] systems to be cleaned up.

“I don’t have to run for president in 2027. If I don’t run, somebody else would. But I haven’t said I won’t run.”

Should he decide to run for presidency in the 2027, then it would be the ODM boss’s sixth stab at the presidency.

He will be 82 years old at the time.