Former President John Mahama has used his electoral defeat to urge Kenyans to keep the peace amidst fears of post-election violence.
Mr. Mahama was briefing the Kenyan media as Head of the Commonwealth Observer Mission that monitored Tuesday’s general elections in the East African country.
“It is not easy to lose an election [because] it can be very disappointing,” he told the journalists while presenting interim statement on behalf of the Commonwealth Observer Group to Kenya.
Early results put the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Party ahead of his arch rival Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance.
Kenya’s western city of Kisumu, saw some protests on Wednesday after the opposition said the electronic voting system has been hacked.
At least five people have been killed in post-election violence in Kenya after opposition leader Raila Odinga claimed “massive” fraud in Tuesday’s vote.
Two people were shot dead in the capital Nairobi on Wednesday, said the city’s police chief Japheth Koome, claiming they took advantage of the protests to steal.
At least one more person was shot dead earlier in the day in South Mugirango constituency in Kisii County, around 300km west of Nairobi, during a clash with the security forces, according to Leonard Katana, a regional police commander, the AP news agency reported.
In the southeastern Tana River region, police said five men armed with knives had attacked a vote tallying station and stabbed one person to death.
Former president Mahama has been trying to calm choppy waters by urging the country’s leaders to accept the results once it is officially declared by the country’s electoral commission.
Losing an election can be “very frustrating” because it prevents one from achieving a set goal, former president John Dramani Mahama has said.
Having lost his bid to get re-elected for a second successive term as President of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. Mahama noted that one earns a lot of respect when he or she accepts the verdict of the people.
But what makes one a “gracious looser” is he or she accepts the decision of the people to “chose someone over you,” the former Ghanaian leader admonished Kenyan politicians while addressing the media in that country, Thursday.
Mr. Mahama reiterated his call for “All Kenyans should be patient [and] let the process play out” ahead of the official announcement of the winner of the presidential polls the independent electoral body, IEBC.
He encouraged political leaders in Kenya “to rise to the occasion” and spurred the leadership of that country to ensure Kenya does not “burn because of an election”.
“Party stakeholders must exercise patience and let’s see that process through…No Kenya blood must be shared because someone disagreed with the electoral process,” Mr. Mahama advised.
He also commended the people of Kenya for turnout in their numbers on voting day concluding that reports teams deployed by Commonwealth to monitor the polls indicated the “opening, voting, closing and counting process…were credible and transparent”.