In Summary
  • Mariga sensed defeat way before the electoral commission started counting and tallying votes.
  • In Kenya, many a candidate, some trailing with ocean-wide gaps, also wait for the final tally before conceding defeat.
  • Still, some never concede at all even after the apex court pronounces itself on their contests and resort to violence.

At the start of Thursday November 7, the election day in Kibra, Jubilee candidate McDonald Mariga was a very confident man.

Even after failing to vote for himself because he is not a registered voter in the constituency with one of the largest slums in Africa, he said he was confident of winning the city seat.

But things would soon change.

At 11pm Thursday, with only 60 out of 183 polling stations tallied, Mariga conceded defeat by Orange party candidate Imran Okoth to the surprise of his supporters and rivals.

CONGRATULATED WINNER

"I would like to congratulate you for wining. We had a healthy competition and I’m ready to support your leadership," Mariga said in a video message.

Mariga’s concession came as a surprise in a country where even candidates with remotest chances of winning in elections move all the way to the Supreme Court to challenge results.

In Kenya, many a candidate, some trailing with ocean-wide gaps, also wait for the final tally before conceding defeat.

Still, some never concede at all even after the apex court pronounces itself on their contests and resort to violence.

So, what prompted Mariga, the man who enjoyed the company of Deputy President Willam Ruto, to call it a day so early?

SENSED DEFEAT

It has emerged that Mariga sensed defeat way before the electoral commission started counting and tallying votes in the Kibra by-election.

He threw in the towel after reports from the Jubilee tallying centre showed that he would not beat Mr Okoth even if they waited for the final results.

The message, sent to President Kenyatta’s top party leadership, saw Jubilee MPs who had campaigned and stood with the former footballer resign to fate too.

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