Raila: We will not boycott elections

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Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga. [File, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition presidential candidate Raila Odinga has clarified his viral statement on the election, saying he had no plan to boycott the 2022 General Election.

This came a day after he made sentiments at a rally in Nyeri, compelling the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to provide manual voter registers at every polling station on August 9.

Odinga clarified his statement during a rally at Wang’uru Stadium in Kirinyaga County this evening, saying he meant there will be no elections in case any malice is detected on the commission’s part.

“I did not say that we will stop or boycott elections. I said the elections will not happen if any malice or manipulation is detected. We are not cowards to boycott an election. We will win this,” Odinga said.

“I said that to tell the parties involved not to try and manipulate the election process and its end result,”

While expressing his optimism about winning the upcoming polls, Odinga has also urged public servants to monitor the elections and fulfil their respective responsibilities.

“This is a wake-up call to public officers including chiefs, county and regional commissioners, I hope the public servants will do their work and ensure we have a free, fair and credible election,” he added.

A day before, Odinga had stated that there will be no elections should the IEBC fail to avail manual voters to register on August 9.

“Manual register is a must at every polling station. It is not negotiable and we are telling the IEBC that manual registers are a must along with biometric identification of voter’s failure to which there will be no elections,” Odinga said.

Hours later, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati  responded saying ‘it is an independent institution and cannot be swayed by anyone to grant favours.’

“IEBC is an independent institution. We are not directed by any individual, authority, or institution. We are answerable only to the Constitution and the law of the land,” Chebukati said during a stakeholder meeting with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) on Thursday.

“You may be unhappy with us but as long as we’re following the law, we are not worried. We do our work without fear or favour, in accordance with the law,” said Chebukati.

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