Editor's Review

Raila Odinga said his decision was informed by the urge to prevent any civil war from happening.

The Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party chief principal Raila Odinga has explained why he chose to remain reserved after the Supreme Court upheld President William Ruto's win.

Speaking to his campaign team during a thanksgiving service at a Nairobi hotel, Raila said any wrong move that would have succeeded the apex court ruling would have plunged the country into civil war.

He suggested that Kenya is among the African nations on the International Criminal Court (ICC) radar after civil wars erupted post-election.

Raila said his decision to remain reticent was informed by lessons of the events in Ivory Coast over a decade ago.

He noted that the war that occurred in the West-African country after the electoral agency announced the loser as the winner of the presidential election taught him lessons.

ODM leader Raila Odinga with President William Ruto at a past function. Photo: Courtesy.

"It happened one time in Cote d'Ivoire when the electoral commission was about to announce results and a member of the commission who acted on behalf of the sitting president stood up when the chairman was beginning to read the results and grabbed the paper from the chairman and tore it in full view of the international media and then they started to fight," he recalled.

According to Raila, the division in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) mirrored that of Cote d'Ivoire.

Having presided over ceasefire talks in the West-African country, Raila said the experience there informed his decision of letting it go despite the belief he was rigged by the commission.

The ODM boss is now leading his team in bringing reforms to the electoral agency with the aim of having the credibility of oncoming polls guaranteed.

Meanwhile, the Raila-led faction is pushing for the employment of a full manual electoral system in the coming elections.

In the previous polls held since the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution, the electronic system has been used to complement the manual one.

However, with the hybrid management of the elections, there have been concerns of malpractice every electoral cycle.

Azimio now wants the country to fully revert to the manual system at the expense of the electoral system which the opposition claimed has been misused to rig elections.