15 August 2017

Kenya: U.S. Congratulates Uhuru on Poll Win, Slams Violent Protests

Nairobi — The United States has congratulated President Uhuru Kenyatta on his re-election following last week's General Election.

In a statement, the White House Press Office commended Kenyans for successfully concluding Tuesday's General Election and upholding peace throughout the electioneering period.

"We commend the dedication of candidates, officials, and the public to upholding a peaceful, fair, and transparent contest, and we welcome the statements by international and domestic observer missions affirming the credibility of the election," the statement read.

The United States, however, expressed concern with violent demonstrations in parts of the country particularly following the declaration of presidential election results on Friday, urging those who felt aggrieved with the outcome to seek legal redress.

"We are troubled by reports that some demonstrations have turned violent, and call on all Kenyans to reject violence and resolve disputes in accordance with the Kenyan Constitution and the rule of law."

Welcoming President Kenyatta's calls for peace and unity, the White House statement underscored the importance of working towards building a prosperous nation, adding all citizens need to participate.

"This historic election is an important step forward, and we urge all Kenyans to unite in peace to continue building their country," the White House implored.

"The United States will continue to partner with Kenya to secure a prosperous and peaceful future for both of our great nations," President Donald Trump's administration assured.

On Sunday, the United Kingdom and United Nations sent similar congratulatory messages to President Kenyatta, following his declaration and gazettement as the winner of the August 8 presidential election.

Both the UK and UN asked Opposition leader Raila Odinga to explore legal means to solve any election dispute arising from the election.

"Tuesday was a historic day for Kenya, with millions of Kenyans turning out to vote in the General Election. The United Kingdom warmly congratulates President Kenyatta on his re-election," UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's press office quoted him as saying.

The UN Secretary General António Guterres in his congratulatory message urged the political class to reign upon their supporters with a view of de-escalating tension as a result of violent protests.

"The Secretary-General takes note of the results of the presidential election in Kenya, and of the announcement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of His Excellency Mr Uhuru Kenyatta as President-elect. He calls on those political leaders disputing the elections results to address election-related disputes through the relevant constitutionally mandated institutions," the statement by Guterres' spokesperson Stephane Dujarric read.

"The Secretary-General calls on the political leaders to send clear messages to their supporters urging them to refrain from violence. The Secretary-General also stresses the importance of dialogue to defuse tensions," he urged.

Despite notable observer missions giving the August 8 vote a clean bill of health, Odinga has maintained that the poll was a fraud alleging that the ruling party hacked into the electoral agency's servers and tampered with results, claims dismissed by the electoral commission.

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