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Let’s face it, ongoing poll petition is not about Raila

UREPORT
By Joab Apollo | August 22nd 2017

Every time presidential election results are disputed, many tend to think it is all about the candidate questioning the conduct of polls. Raila Odinga, the National Super Alliance (NASA) leader, has disputed the past three presidential election results. In doing so, he has faced strong criticism from his political adversaries and their supporters, who hold the view that peace should take precedence over justice. In 2007, none other than the chairman of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya, the late Samuel Kivuitu, publicly admitted, without batting an eyelid, that he did not know who the winner of the presidential election was. He then proceeded to declare Mwai Kibaki the winner despite protests from the Raila-led Orange Democratic Movement. In 2013, Raila again expressed disgust at the manner in which Mr Kivuitu’s successor, Issack Hassan, managed the election. In 2017, there was a general consensus that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) under Wafula Chebukati was doing a sterling job until cynicism, affected by the killing of the commission's ICT manager, Chris Msando, and crept in. This cynicism deepened when NASA’s grievances regarding the transmission of results were disregarded.

Kenyans seem programmed to tell the Opposition to accept poll results and move on for the sake of peace whenever the Opposition protests against an electoral process. What this country must realize is that Raila and Uhuru Kenyatta will not contest the presidency forever, but Kenya will continue holding elections every five years. Those dismissing questions about IEBC now might find themselves in the same position as Raila’s supporters tomorrow.

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