May 21, 2018

US hails Kenyatta on his re-election, express fear over poll violence

President Uhuru Kenyatta with his Deputy William Ruto at a past event. [pscu]

The United States government has lauded Kenya for holding credible and transparent elections in a statement released on Monday by White House Press Secretary and circulated by US Embassy in Nairobi.

The Donald Trump led administration has also congratulated President Uhuru Kenyatta on his re-election for a second and final term in office.

“The United States congratulates the people of Kenya on the successful conclusion of elections, and President Uhuru Kenyatta on his re-election,” read part of the statement as quoted by Daily Nation.

The US further amplified reports by local and foreign mission poll observers that the elections conducted last week on Tuesday, August 8 were free, fair and transparent.

“We commend the dedication of candidates, officials, and the public to upholding a peaceful, fair and transparent contest, and we welcome the statements by international and domestic observer missions affirming the credibility of the election.”

But Kenya’s opposition leader and NASA Presidential candidate Raila Odinga has rejected the Presidential election results.

He termed the election as a “sham, fraud and a charade” that speaks louder about rigging and not democracy.

Raila and his stalwarts led by Siaya Senator-elect James Orengo discredited affirmations by several foreign poll observer missions including Carter Centre led by Former US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry in his statement after the polls said the process was free, fair and transparent.

He lauded IEBC for putting up such an elaborate system amid many challenges in the run up to the general elections.

The African Union (AU) and Common Wealth polls observation missions led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, and Former Ghanian President John Mahama respectively among others including the EU gave IEBC a thumbs up.

However, NASA principals took a jibe at the poll observers saying they should have been vetted before coming for the poll observation mission.

“The missions should vet observers to determine if they have relationships with the actors in the political contest. Some of them have interests that serve those in government.

Some of them just have big names but have nothing to offer on matters of observing the elections,” Orengo bashed the polls observers.

He also said they will not challenge the results at the Supreme Court but they will leave the matter in the court of public opinion.

The US took issues with this stand by NASA and called for fall back to legal channels to address the impasse.

“We are troubled by reports that some demonstrations have turned violent, and call on all Kenyans to reject violence and resolve disputes in accordance with the Kenyan Constitution and the rule of law.”

The US reiterated its pledge to strengthen ties with Kenya.

“The US will continue to partner with Kenya to secure a prosperous and peaceful future for both of our great nations,” read the re-affirmation.