Not easy losing an election: Mahama
Former President John Mahama has told Kenyans, from personal experience, that it is not easy losing an election.
Mr Mahama who lost the 2016 presidential election in his home country Ghana is heading the Commonwealth Observer Mission in the East African country which held elections on 8 August.
Speaking to Kenyans about the need to keep the peace of the country after the polls, Mr Mahama drew on his own experience, saying losing an election “can be very disappointing” and “very frustrating” but urged the losers to be “gracious” by accepting that the people chose an alternative over them.
According to the BBC, raw polling data published on the website of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said that with almost 97% of results in, incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta – who is seeking a second term – is leading with about 54.3%, to Mr Raila Odinga’s 44.8% share of the vote.
These suggest Mr Kenyatta is heading for a first-round victory.
However, it has been emphasised by the IEBC that these results are preliminary, and have yet to be certified officially.
But Mr Odinga said in a tweet that his party’s own assessment put him ahead of Mr Kenyatta.
He alleged hackers had gained access to the IEBC computer system by using the identity of the commission’s IT manager, Chris Msando, who was killed last month.
Observers from the African Union and the European Union among others issued a joint statement urging political parties “to use the legally provided channels of dispute resolution in case of any dissatisfaction with the process”, adding that police should “avoid excessive use of force”.
They also said the IEBC should carry out the tallying process “with full integrity and transparency”.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Mahama, said the responsibility to maintain calm fell to the two leading candidates.
“They can take Kenya down the slippery slope of violence like in 2007, or they can both rise to the occasion and let Kenya surmount this democratic hurdle and become one of the leading democracies in Africa,” he said.
The commission has not said when it will publish the final results. Legally, it has to announce the results within seven days of polling stations closing.