Raila promises to accept defeat if he fairly loses election

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has pledged to concede defeat should he fairly lose the August 8 election that is expected to be his last.

Raila, 72, will vie against President Uhuru Kenyatta who is bidding for a second and final five-year term.

The NASA flag bearer vied and lost in 1997, 2007 and 2013; this year’s election, which is 34 days away, is important to him.

The two were the main contenders in the 2013 and this year’s election has attracted eight candidates.

“…hakuna haja ya kusema tukishindwa hatutakubali but in the unlikely event [that I lose] mimi nitaheshimu uamuzi ya wakenya,” Raila said during an interview on Radio Maisha on Tuesday.
(There is no need for us to say we will not accept defeat. But in the unlikely event that we lose, I will respect Kenyans’ decision)

Raila noted they have always respected the people’s wishes and that the ball is in the IEBC’s court as the election must be credible.
“Hata wakati ule mwingine tulikubali uamuzi wa Wakenya na tukaheshimu uamuzi wa mahakama..” he said.

(Even in 2013, we accepted the verdict of Kenyans and respected the Supreme Court’s decision)

Last month, Uhuru said his competitors should also commit to maintaining peace and conceding defeat.

“In 2002 when I lost the elections, I conceded. I am proud and urge my competitors to pronounce themselves on this matter. They should commit to this…ensure peace and accept the decision of Kenyans in August,” he said.

In January, the President said he will hand over power if he loses. African presidents are known to hold on to power when election outcomes do not fabour them. This has resulted in conflict in countries such as Burundi and Gambia.

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