KENYA–No election will take place in 90 days, Deputy President William Ruto has said, noting there will be no shortcut to power.
This was Ruto’s reaction to Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s declaration that NASA will turn to a resistance movement and press for free fair and credible elections in this period.
Raila said the resistance movement will “strive to restore a government established in compliance with the constitution”.
But the DP said: “Kenya is not an animal farm where there are animals that are bigger than others. Kenya will move on and there will be no discussion with Raila regarding elections.”
Speaking during an interview with Al Jazeera on Sunday, Ruto said Kenyans follow the constitution and that nowhere is it written that a poll will take place after 90 days.
“Our statement to our friend Raila [is that] Kenya is a constitutional democracy. Whatever he is alleging about an election is not in the constitution. However popular they are they cannot change constitution,” he said.
Regarding violence, the Deputy President said Kenya will not go through the 2007/8 experience again.
The repeat presidential election, boycotted on October 26 by millions, has reignited long-running tensions between ethnic communities in some areas.
On this, Ruto said: “The events of post election will not happen again. We are not fools. It is only fools who do not learn from their mistakes.”
Earlier in Karen, Ruto asked the Opposition leader to stop threatening Kenyans with violence.
Ruto said the Opposition chose not to participate in the election on their own volition therefore other Kenyans have nothing to do with it.
“Raila chose, out of will, not to participate in the election. Kenyans had nothing to do with that decision. He should stop threatening peace in the country,” he said.
He added Raila failed to marshal support in parts of the country and decided to export violence to counties such as Nairobi and Bungoma.
“Since there was only one region where violence was being experienced, the NASA leader and his agents are attempting to export the mayhem to other regions,” he said.
He noted the government will protect life and property from “marauding NASA goons”.
But during a visit of Nairobi’s Kangware on Sunday, Raila asked President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto to stop militarising politics, saying a country cannot be led by the barrel of a gun.
He claimed the police brutality meted on citizens in NASA areas is retaliation by Jubilee Party for rejection by Kenyans.
Raila asked his supporters to boycott the election but told there was no need to demonstrate. He also urged peace and patience until Monday when he is expected to give direction.
Ruto said Uhuru’s win is legitimate. In the repeat election, IEBC said the President garnered 7.1 million votes in 243 out of 291 constituencies.
“We have already surpassed that threshold. That means that in terms of the constitution, the legitimacy question is already answered,” he said.
The constitution states that to be elected president, a candidate has to garner 50 per cent plus one of total votes cast and secure 25 per cent support in each of at least 24 counties.
He said it was incorrect for Raila to say 3.5 million voters went to vote and placed the number at 7.5 million voters.
When voting ended on October 26, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said the turnout was 6.5 million and has not given any explanations.
Ruto said: “Of course he (Raila) wants to peddle a narrative that suits his political one. There is a percentage of voters that was denied a chance to vote.
“I challenge our opponent to remove the organised militia blocking the delivery of voting material so we know for sure if those affected want to vote or not.”
On Saturday, Ruto claimed NASA hired militia men to block the election. He exclusively told CNN many Kenyans were ready to participate in the repeat but were threatened by their Opposition competitors.
Leaders including former IG David Kimaiyo, Tourism CS Najib Balala and former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar have asked Chebukati to declare Uhuru president to prevent instability, deaths and destruction of property.