Thursday, May 18, 2023 –Former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission IEBC Chairperson Isaack Hassanhas regretted his actions that denied opposition leader Raila Odinga office in 2013.
In his Wednesday May 16 JKL interview on Citizen Tv, the ex-IEBC boss noted that he really wanted Mr. Odinga to win the presidency but found himself announcing Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, contrary to his wishes.
Defending his wish to have Raila as the president, Hassan recalled that Mr. Odinga had helped him before and it was painful to announce someone else.
Heaping praises at the former prime minister, Hassan recounted, he(Raila) ensured no interference in the nominations of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission CKRC – leading to him(Hassan) earning his first job as commissioner.
“I have a lot of respect for the Prime Minister and in my first job as CKRC’s Commissioner, he was the chairman of the parliamentary select Committee on the Constitution. They interviewed us and I was among those selected from North Eastern Province,” Hassan indicated.
Again, he was Mr. Odinga who helped him become the electoral IEBC boss.
“If anyone I have respect and gratitude to, is him. I really would have wished for him to win the elections to become our president because we needed to test his presidency.”
“As the chairman of the electoral commission, I only announced the will of the people, the results of the elections.
“That for me was a very difficult time but what can you do? That is the game, the name of the game so it was never personal,” he reiterated.
Mr. Hassan who has released a memoir titled ‘Referee of a Dirty Ugly Game’, said in the book that he would then later gift Odinga and wife Ida an expensive cologne and a fragrance, respectively.
This, he explained, was meant to end their bitter political differences following the 2013 highly-divisive elections that saw the dynamic duo of Uhuru and William Ruto clinch the seat.
During that time, Hassan had described Odinga as a perennial loser who has never accepted defeat throughout his political life.
This statement did not sit well with the opposition leader hence escalating their rivalry even as Uhuru went on to win subsequent election in 2017 and finally handing over power to his deputy in 2022.