Kenya: Trump Rejects Raila's 'Swearing In'

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Kenya's First Lady Margaret Kenyatta at the 43rd G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy (file photo).
2 February 2018

The United States government has criticized a move by Nasa leader Raila Odinga to take 'oath of office' last Tuesday.

A statement from the State Department said the US was "gravely concerned by Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga's self-"inauguration" on January 30".

"We reject actions that undermine Kenya's Constitution and the rule of law," the statement by Department spokesperson Heather Nauert read in part.

The President Donald Trump-led government noted that Uhuru Kenyatta was elected as President of Kenya on October 26, 2017 and his victory was upheld by Supreme Court. It warned that all grievances must be resolved through appropriate legal mechanisms.

Mr Odinga claims he won the August 8 vote and released 'results' to back that ahead of his 'swearing in'.

NULL AND VOID

However, the Supreme Court declared that election "null and void" following a petition by Nasa.

The opposition coalition did not take part in the fresh election that was ordered by the Court and conducted on October 26, 2017. Mr Kenyatta won that election.

On Tuesday, Mr Odinga took 'oath of office' at Uhuru Park, Nairobi in front of thousands of supporters. The 'oath' was administered by Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang who has since been arrested and charged.

His running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, alongside co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Watangula, skipped the event

Police did not clash with Nasa supporters as had highly been anticipated and the US government has hailed the development.

"We commend the restraint shown by security forces and urge them to continue to refrain from any unnecessary or excessive use of force," added Nauert.

"Any arrests and prosecutions must be made in full accordance with the rule of law and demonstrate transparent due process. We urge all Kenyans to reject violence and hatred. Protesters have a right to assemble peacefully, to express their views freely, and to hold opinions without interference."

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