Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party leader Raila Odinga has explained to his base why he didn't call on his supporters to protest against President William Ruto's win.
Speaking at Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi on Friday, September 30, 2022, during a dinner organised to thank Azimio campaign teams, Raila said he didn't call on his supporters to protest against Ruto's win to avoid post-election violence.
Raila recalled how lives were lost in Ivory Coast after the electoral body was divided in announcing the results of the presidential election.
“That member of the commission was acting on behalf of the then President who had lost the election. The chairman went to a secret location and announced the results then left the country in a quagmire. Close to one million lives were lost. I was appointed by the African Union to go and mediate in that conflict,” Raila said.
Ivory Coast was plunged into a deadly civil war after former President Laurent Gbagbo clung onto power after losing to the current President Alassane Ouattara, now President.
Raila said the possibility of death and bloodshed from post-election violence compelled him to accept Ruto’s disputed win.
The Azimio leader further insisted he won the August 9, 2022, presidential election, claiming that his victory was usurped through the help of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the seven Supreme Court judges.
“We won the elections hands down. When history is written the facts will come out. They did not even get 50 per cent,” Raila said.
"Then we take issues to the Supreme Court; the court also agrees that the chairman is not allowed to single-handedly run affairs of the commission but finally says he was right in making the announcement, that in itself speaks volume about the Supreme Court,” he added.
Raila demands electoral, judiciary reforms
The Azimio leader said reforms in the electoral body and judiciary are needed to ensure Kenya remains a democratic country.
“We need to reform the electoral system; we need to also reform the Judiciary. Not because I feel bitter, it must not be Raila Odinga. I have fought hard for the democratisation of our country and I have paid the price for it but I want when I am gone, I leave behind a democratic society,” Raila said.
He further called on Azimio supporters to walk tall and feel proud as members of a coalition that won the election.
“As a member of the Azimio coalition, you should walk tall and feel proud because you are a member of a big movement that won the 2022 election. We know what happened. Kenyans will get to know why we have an illegitimate regime in power. We will continue to illegitimise this regime because they usurped power,” he said.