The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba revealed that Nasa leader Raila Odinga had no reason to boycott the October 26 polls, even as pressure piled on the commission to meet strict demands ahead of the polls.
Speaking for the first time since he left office on an extended leave, which he took two weeks to the repeat polls, a relaxed Chiloba divulged that he had anticipated Mr Odinga’s strategy to have him forced out of office, in a blame game assault against him.
“I think what Nasa should have done was to participate in the elections. They had no reason not to participate in the elections,” Mr Chiloba told Citizen TV in an exclusive interview
Mr Chiloba said that the National Super Alliance team’s famous ‘irreducible minimums’ were all addressed, but Raila’s team failed to get back to the Commission with any formal complaint.
“You remember the irreducible minimums; there were claims that we had not addressed them. When we prepared a checklist and shared with them on the same issues, but no one came and said look, we don’t like what you have given to us,” he said.
He however revealed that despite the harsh political temperatures, the two talk on issues of National importance.
“I know you will be surprised that Mr Odinga is a very sober minded Kenyan. We talk on things of national importance,” the smiling Chiloba said.
On October 10, two weeks to the repeat polls, Nasa leader Raila Odinga pulled out of the repeat polls with his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka citing a predetermined outcome of the contest.
“After deliberating on our position in respect of the upcoming election, considering the interests of the people of Kenya, the region and the world at large, we believe that all will be best served by Nasa vacating its presidential candidature in the election scheduled for 26 October 2017," said Mr Odinga.
Mr Odinga told reporters in Nairobi that Nasa had been calling for a free and fair election held in conformity with the Constitution.
“We have come to the conclusion that there is no intention from IEBC to make sure that the irregularities and illegalities witnessed before do not happen again,” he said.
He accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of “stonewalling” deliberations to have a credible repeat election.
“We have come to the conclusion that there is no intention on the part of the IEBC to undertake any changes to its operations and personnel to ensure that the “illegalities and irregularities” that led to the invalidation of the 8th August, 2008 do not happen again
“All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one,” he said.
He took a swipe at President Uhuru Kenyatta-led Jubilee Party for pushing for election laws changes saying the move shows that it had no intention of competition on a level playing field.
“The only election Jubilee administration is interested in is one that it must win, even unlawfully,” he said.
Mr Odinga had earlier pilled pressure on Mr Chiloba to resign ahead of the repeat poll.