US will respect winner of Kenya election, Obama says
Posted Wednesday, February 6 2013 at 02:00
United States President Barrack Obama has issued an assurance that his government will respect the eventual winner of Kenya’s forthcoming presidential contest.
President Obama said his government has no preferred candidate and will support the outcome of a free and fair vote. He also urged Kenyans to vote peacefully and to let the courts handle any election disputes.
“The choice of who will lead Kenya is up to the Kenyan people. The United States does not endorse any candidate for office, but we do support an election that is peaceful and reflects the will of the people,” said President Obama in a video message released on Tuesday.
One of Kenya’s leading presidential candidates, deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto are facing charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The two, rallying under the Jubilee alliance, have insisted on their innocence to the charges.
In the video message, president Obama called on Kenyans to “reject intimidation and violence, and allow a free and fair vote.”
He also urged political candidates to “resolve disputes in the courts, not in the streets.”
“This is a moment for the people of Kenya to come together, instead of tearing apart. If you do, you can show the world that you are not just members of a tribe or ethnic group, but citizens of a great and proud nation,” President Obama said.
“This election can be another milestone toward a truly democratic Kenya defined by the rule of law and strong institutions. If you take that step, and reject a path of violence and division, then Kenya can move forward towards prosperity and opportunity that unleashes the extraordinary talents of your people – especially young people.”
Meanwhile, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission yesterday said the ballot papers for presidential candidates were ready.