African Press International (API)

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In his own words; Raila accepts defeat saying President Kibaki was not his enemy but that ideological difference has come between them

Posted by African Press International on August 30, 2007

“Allowing Kibaki to get a second term is a good thing for the country. Former President Moi has seen it and now Raila is accepting that fact. The country needs to have stability it enjoys now.”API/APN

Story by MUGO NJERU and GEORGE MUNENE
Publication Date: 8/29/2007

ODM presidential hopeful Raila Odinga yesterday said he would accept defeat if he was beaten fairly by President Kibaki in the General Election.

He, however, urged President Kibaki to give a similar declaration in case he lost his re-election bid.

If President Kibaki beats me in the elections we shall shake hands and embrace and he should be prepared to do the same if ODM beats him, Mr Odinga told a rally at Kerugoya stadium in Kirinyaga District.

Mr Odinga said President Kibaki was not his enemy but that they had differed on political ideology.

Supported Mzee

He told the rally that the Odinga family had never been tribalistic and that was why his father had supported Mzee Jomo Kenyatta for the presidency.

He said during the independence struggle, leaders such as his father, Mr Masinde Muliro and former Cabinet minister Jeremiah Nyagah never embraced tribalism but rather, unity geared towards nationalism.

Mr Odinga called on the people of central Kenya to join other communities in supporting ODM so that they were not left out if it formed the next government.

He said the party aimed at changing the face of Kenya through alleviation of poverty, illiteracy and joblessness, which continue to plague it 43 years after independence.

He said he parted ways with Mr Kibaki after he realised there was no commitment to fulfil the pledges that Narc gave the country during the 2002 campaigns.

Mr Odinga had an easy time addressing a crowd that had previously turned hostile when Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey addressed it.

Premature end

Mr Kosgey was booed when he said the party would form the next Government because it had the support from all the provinces in the country.

He ended his speech prematurely.

The crowd also heckled presidential hopeful Joseph Nyaga, the convenor of the rally, when he said a few leaders surrounding President Kibaki were spoiling his chances of being re-elected.

At the rally were other ODM presidential hopefuls Najib Balala, William Ruto and Musalia Mudavadi. Former MPs Martin Shikuku and Chris Obure also attended.

In Bungoma, ODM Kenya presidential hopeful Kalonzo Musyoka criticised Mr Mudavadi for staying with the Raila camp.

Mr Musalia has not learnt from 2002 General Election lesson but I wish him well, he said.

Lifted and published by Korir, API*APN africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.nation.ke

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