African Union Hopeful of Kenya's Peace, Unity
by Peter Clottey March 31, 2013
The deputy chairman of the African Union (AU) has expressed confidence that Kenya's President-elect, Uhuru Kenyatta could unite the country after the Supreme Court upheld his victory in the March 4th presidential vote.
Erastus Mwencha says provisions in the constitution will enable the government to function better to improve the lives of the citizens.
"The country has demonstrated that institutions are functional [that] democracy is at work [and] that the institutions have been tested to the supreme, and that has left the country united and now the country can move forward," said Mwencha.
"The new constitution," continued Mwencha, "has mechanisms to ensure that first of all there is now an involved system of government which brings the government closer to the people. But above all, the constitution also has a requirement to ensure that there is best of Kenya in every aspect of the state. And I'm sure the new leadership will take that into account and that is one way to ensure that the country is untied and the country can move forward."
His comments came after the Supreme Court judges unanimously voted Saturday to uphold the outcome of the presidential vote saying, the election was credible.
Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) declared Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of the country's founding leader, president-elect with 50.07 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff.
But, Prime Minister Raila Odinga's Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) challenged the vote citing voter irregularities. Odinga however accepted the ruling of the court after all of the six judges upheld Kenyatta's victory.
President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto face charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The ICC accuses the two leaders of playing a role in Kenya's 2007-2008 post-election violence that left about 1,300 dead and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes.
Mwencha says the African Union is ready to work with Mr. Kenyatta and his deputy irrespective of the charges against them.
"The African Union has never had a problem with Kenya. The Kenyans have spoken and they have elected their leader," said Mwencha.
"If you look at the number of cases at the ICC," continued Mwencha, "there seems not to be a balance and these cases should be handled in a manner that does not make the ICC look like they can interfere in the internal affairs of the state."
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