28 February 2013

Kenya: Ban Phones Kibaki, Urges Peaceful Polls

The country marked national unity day, a day when President Mwai Kibaki and Premier Raila Odinga struck a peace deal that formed a coalition ... ( Resource: Kenyans Observe Five Years of Peace Accord

Nairobi, Kenya — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Wednesday voiced hope that Kenyans will work together to ensure the March 4 elections are peaceful and credible.

In a telephone discussion with President Mwai Kibaki, Ban expressed optimism that Kenyans will remain united even after the historic polls.

He expressed confidence that the election will also be conducted in a credible manner.

The UN Secretary-General conveyed appreciation for efforts made to strengthen Kenya's democracy and its electoral system since the last general elections.

He told the president he trusts that efforts made at many levels to prevent a repeat of the 2008 post election violence will be redoubled during the remainder of the campaign period that ends on Saturday.

Kenya has caught the eye of not just locals but international interests, with keen focus on a peaceful and democratic election that will ensure the East African country does not make global news again for poll violence as witnessed after the 2007 elections.

Last week, the United States Secretary of State John Kerry also telephoned Kibaki and called for credible and peaceful elections.

In January, US President Barack Obama said his government did not have any preferred candidate and said it was up to Kenyans to elect leaders of their choice.

He also urged politicians not to engage in any incitements or violence if disgruntled by the outcome of the results but to instead make use of the election dispute resolution measures in place.

Obama had indicated that as long as the country conducts credible elections, his government will continue partnering with Kenya.

The government, civil society, international community, private organisations, political class and the rest of Kenyans have been actively involved in passing peace messages across the country.

Kenyans have also made pledges to ensure that they will remain peaceful before, during and after the elections.

The candidates seeking the six elective positions have also promised to remain peaceful whether they win or lose.

Despite the many pledges and commitments to conduct credible polls, many local and international groups are already in the country to keep a close watch on how Kenya will conduct its election.

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