Uhuru can only win by rigging, Raila says, John Kerry arriving next week

Raila Odinga

NAIROBI, Kenya – The ruling party cannot win unless it rigs next Tuesday’s election, NASA presidential Raila Odinga has said

Raila repeated this claim on Wednesday despite denials by the government, KDF and the Defence ministry.

“There is no other way that Jubilee can win elections other than through rigging and they know it – that is why they are making all the efforts,” he told Reuters as he left a rally in Suswa.

“I’m very confident that we are going to get a very, very decisive victory.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry will arrive next week to observe the general election alongside teams from the EU, AU, COMESA and the National Democratic Institute.

The Carter Centre announced Kerry’s arrival in a statement on Tuesday, saying former Senegalese Prime Minister Aminata Touré will also come to Kenya.

The Secretary of State heralded “Msando’s dedication to transparent elections” and expressed “hope that his death does not impact negatively to the citizens and the IEBC”.

He said: “Security for both the elections and all election administrators throughout the electoral process is paramount for the conduct of a credible and democratic election. We hope his death will not have a chilling effect on voters and electoral authorities.”

Toure urged Kenyan authorities to provide full security for IEBC and other staff “so they continue preparations for the election without fear for their safety”.

KIEMS KEY TO VOTER CONFIDENCE

 

The centre offered condolences to Msando’s family who was murdered and his body found on Saturday.

It noted its technical experts had a productive collaboration with the IEC manager.

Carter Centre also called for investigations and asked the commission to carry on with KIEMS tests.

“The success of KIEMS remains an essential step toward increasing stakeholder confidence in the election.”

The centre warned against politicising the election and attacking the commission and other independent institutions as these are “unacceptable forms of public discourse”.

Amnesty International called for “concrete measures” to calm Kenya’s “tense situation and reassure voters” before August 8.

In a statement on Wednesday, Muthoni Wanyeki, who is Regional Director for East Africa, noted: “This brutal murder has sent a chill down the spines of many Kenyans and raised the spectre of violence.”

Wanyeki asked Kenyans to ensure peace during the election period and the government to carry out an independent and effective investigation.

“Msando’s murder is the most horrendous incident this election year but it is not the only one with the potential to sow fear,” she said.

Wanyeki warned high-ranking officials and politicians against issuing threatening statements which could threaten freedom of expression.

She further said media should be allowed to announce election results as soon as they are announced and keep a national tally.

“The authorities must desist from remarks that threaten journalists and civil society organisations.”

A veteran opposition leader, Raila is running against incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta in next week’s August 8 polls, when Kenyans will choose a new president, lawmakers and local representatives.

Many voters are jittery, fearing a repeat of the 2007 polls, when Odinga alleged rigging and called for demonstrations. The political protests and ethnic violence that followed killed more than 1,200 people.

During the next polls, in 2013, Raila also lost and called foul, but he took his concerns to court and the elections were largely peaceful. – The Star