President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned politicians against threatening the IEBC on elections and reiterated he will hand over power peacefully if defeated.
Uhuru is seeking a second and final term and will vie against NASA flag bearer Raila Odinga, who has won twice before but rigged out by alleged uthamaki mafia.
Raila has built a strong alliance with #10MillionStrong vote base to disloadge Uhuru in the August 8 general election, which will also include parliamentary and local votes.
In May, the NASA team threatened to boycott the election if IEBC amends laws stopping the declaration of presidential results at the polling station.
“The IEBC must must be given space. They need to be given respect. We must not undermine [their] authority in the court of public opinion.”
“For IEBC to ensure public trust, they must be given space to operate without harassment or negativity,” he added in an address to the media at Eldoret State Lodge on Tuesday.
He added only the commission is mandated with announcing the final results, not politicians.
The President said his alleged stooge the IEBC chairman must be allowed to be the returning officer.
“In our constitution, they alone are granted the right to tally and announce votes. No politician should insist [on anything different] because they will destroy the country.”
He added that politicians dissatisfied with the election should follow procedure and seek intervention through courts.
“Any attack upon the IEBC is an attack upon an important pillar that supports our democracy.”
Uhuru noted his willingness to hand over power in another call for peace.
“I assure Kenyans that my commitment to peace and stability is so close to my heart. If you, the people, tell me on August 8 that you want fresh leadership, I will humbly step aside for my successor,” he said.
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.”
Uhuru noted Kenya has many parties but that this is the very reason for unity as democracy is allowed.
“We are a young country made up of a fabric of diversity for which we should be proud. Our democracy should be unashamedly protected,” he said.
In January, the President said he will hand over power if he loses the August 8, 2017 elections.
Uhuru was responding to a question by a journalist whether he will accept the outcome or refuse to step down like what happened in Gambia.
Gambia’s former leader Yahya Jammeh flew into exile in Equatorial Guinea after stepping down under pressure from West African nations to accept that he lost in the December elections to President Adama Barrow.
His exit ended rising tension as thousands of troops from Senegal and Nigeria who entered the tiny country were poised to swoop on the capital Banjul.