19 June 2012

Kenya: Raila Begs Cash for Kenya Polls

Photo: Daily Nation.
A voter casts her ballot (File Photo): Prime Minister Raila Odinga says Kenyans must be able to participate in elections without concerns to their personal safety.

Nairobi — Prime Minister Raila Odinga has appealed for financial assistance from the country's development partners towards conducting free and fair elections.

Noting that very large financial resources are required for the elections, the PM pointed out that the financial support from the development partners will fill any gaps that may remain.

Odinga further welcomed concrete proposals from the development partners to assist in ensuring that all Kenyans will be well informed of the elections and participate in it freely without concern about personal safety adding it is critical that the elections are conducted in such a manner that the results will be credible and be seen to represent the will of Kenyans.

The PM was speaking on Tuesday when he opened the fourth development partnership forum meeting at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

Emphasising that the government was committed to ensuring a free and fair election, Odinga expressed confidence that the coming election and the new Constitution provided Kenya with the best chance ever for the country to move forward and in a new direction.

"A direction that will create new jobs, spur long-term economic growth and most importantly ensure that each of our citizens benefits from the wealth being created in a stable and peacefully environment," he said.

And added: "I remain confident that if we implement the new Constitution and respect it; if we recast our politics and focus on issues, policies and ideologies rather than individuals and tribes, and with your support, this nation will triumph."

In this regard, the PM appealed to the development partners against issuing travel advisories to their citizens that discouraged travel to Kenya adding the government will ensure that elections do not disrupt economic development.

On the Constitution, the PM made it clear that the government is firmly and unequivocally committed to its full implementation, adding the successful implementation of the Constitution is a key driver in the realization of the country's development agenda.

He said, "Kenyans are insisting that all of us, in the three branches of government strictly and vigorously adhere to the letter and spirit of the Constitution. Failing to meet their expectations is not an option for any responsible leader."

He thanked the development partners for continued support of the country's development agenda, noting that in the financial year 2012/2013, they contributed an estimated Sh225 billion which represented 22.9 percent increase from the current fiscal year.

"Equally valuable to us is your contributions on transfer of knowledge, capacity building and policy dialogue," he said.

Saying the meeting was taking place at a very special moment in Kenya's history when the country is preparing for the first election under the new Constitution, Odinga emphasised that the upcoming elections are the next step in the country's transition to a truly democratic state.

"A democratic state where the basic political and economic rights are respected, where all leaders must adhere to strict codes of integrity and accountability and where public resources are shared equitably among communities and regions," he added.

On the discovery of oil in Kenya, the PM expressed confidence that it will not be a curse as it has been in some African countries adding Kenyans will draw from the experience of other countries to avoid the mistakes some African countries have made after discovering oil.

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