The Star (Nairobi)

13 February 2013

Kenya: Obama Yet to Clarify U.S. Stand On Elections

The government is yet to receive an official statement from its US counterpart over the March 4 elections, Foreign Affairs PS Thuita Mwangi has said.

Mwangi said Kenya sent a letter to the US through its ambassador Elkana Odembo seeking a clear statement after President Barack Obama and Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson issued contradicting statements on the elections.

Last week, Obama said the US will not meddle or give a statement that may have a bearing on Kenyans choice of president. He instead called for peace and violence-free elections.

Two days later, Carson warned Kenyans that choices have consequences. Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto, when elected, will have far-reaching diplomatic implications with the West, Carson said.

On the Jubilee Alliance's claim that Odembo was behind Carson's statement, Mwangi said the government had not received an official complaint from the coalition.

But warned that when they receive complaints, an immediate probe will be opened and appropriate action taken against the ambassador.

"So far, I have not received any complaint as far as the protests from Jubilee are concerned. But we have our code of regulations that govern such officers. They will have to be invoked if truly the complaints come and are proven to be right," said Mwangi.

He was speaking in Mombasa when he officially opened a two-week induction seminar of diplomats from Burundi. Mwangi also added that yesterday's meeting with European Union representatives was fruitful and they clearly stated their position.

"EU is an accredited observer in these elections by Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission. They have a voice and as per what we discussed yesterday, they said they have never talked about sanctions," he said.

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