3 December 2012

Kenya: Foreigners Told 'Keep Off' As TNA-URP Sign Deal

Uhuru Kenyatta's The National Alliance (TNA) and William Ruto's United Republican Party (URP) have formally sealed their coalition deal and presented the documents to the Registrar of Political Parties.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at Nairobi's Jeevanjee Gardens, Kenyatta asked the international community to let him and his running mate Ruto to express their democratic right of vying for political office despite the pending crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

"Even a suspect has his own right in their own nation. From the time we were falsely accused we stood in front of the nation and the world and said we are determined to follow due process; we are determined to protect our integrity as a nation, please let Kenyans express their democratic right," he implored.

According to Kenyatta, the ICC process should not be used to limit their rights.

The ICC has previously said the decision to have the two on the ballot was squarely dependent on provisions in Kenyan law.

The Gatundu South MP said; "That power is in all those hands including that court at The Hague, which holds it on behalf of humanity. This is humanity, all we are saying is that let this humanity be given the right to elect their leaders... you claim to represent them, let them be given the freedom to elect their leaders in a manner that is democratic."

Kenyatta who addressed hundreds of people who gathered to witness the grand political deal insisted that Kenya is a sovereign country that should be allowed to run its affairs.

"Next year we shall be marking 50 years of our independence, we are determined to protect our sovereignty. We want to work with nations of the world who claim to be believers of democracy. We don't plan to be enemies of anybody. Kenya has been a friend of all and wants to remain a friend of all. It wants to be the island of peace in the region filled with conflicts where we harbour our brothers and sisters who are from war torn countries," he said.

Kenyatta also told visiting former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and ex-Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa who are members of the Panel of Eminent African Personalities to keep off Kenya's affairs.

"We plead with you, we respect your concern because you are a friend and a friend must always be concerned, but at some stage you must leave the home to determine its own future. Kenya wants to determine its future, and we shall do so with our fellow Kenyans," he said.

Earlier, Annan said they were not meddling in Kenya's affairs, but walking with the country as it prepares to implement its constitution and also hold general elections under the new law.

Ruto - the Eldoret North MP - who will be Kenyatta's running mate in the polls, said URP and TNA will ensure that Kenya does not return to violence and announced their commitment to ensure peace and unity will prevail in the country under their leadership.

However, he urged their political rivals to desist from using abusive politics likely to deter peace efforts.

His remarks were echoed by URP chairman Francis ole Kaparo.

"We are not in a competition of insults... we are not in the business of insults and we are not competing with anybody about insults, you can have all the insults you want without contest from us. We are also telling our competitors please be honest," he said.

The National Alliance and United Republican Party later presented their agreement to the registrar of political parties ahead of the deadline on Tuesday.

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