Reported Kenyatta Victory: Let No Candidate Dare Fuel Violence

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Both candidates must abide by the final official results. Kenyatta and Odinga should both call for calm, peace and stability. Both must in the strongest terms urge their supporters all over the country not to commit violence. They must also warn of the serious consequences.


[Black Star News Editorial] 
 

All eyes are on Kenya.  

 
After a hotly contested vote one candidate says he won't concede defeat. 
 
The
kind of violence that claimed the lives of more than 1,000 Kenyans and
displaced another 600,000 following the disputed 2007 vote must not be
tolerated. Anyone who fuels atrocities must not be able to find a place
to hide. 
 
This is the hour when cool heads must prevail.
Reckless rhetoric must be avoided. Any politician whose words sparks
violence must bear the consequences. 

Credible elections will usher Kenya on the path to democracy and propel it into the class of mature countries.

The
unofficially-reported victor Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William
Ruto, already face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC).  
 
Kenyatta and Ruto are accused of hav
ing financed death squads to target and kill other ethnic groups after the 2007 vote. 

Both
deny the charges and say they plan to clear their names at trial.
Kenyatta is ethnic Kikuyu; Odinga is Luo and Ruto is Kalenjin. 
 
If
the unofficially-reported outcome stands Kenyatta and Odinga will
shuttle between the ICC's headquarters at the Hague and back to East
Africa to govern during their trial. 

 
Kenya's election
commission, known as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission
(IEBC), displayed provisional figures awarding Kenyatta 6,173,433 votes
and Odinga with 5,340,546 votes out of a total of 12,338,667 ballots
cast.

The victor needed to get more than 50% of the vote cast to
avoid a runoff; in addition to 25% of votes in 24 out of the 47
counties. 

Reports from Kenya say Uhuru won 50.03% of the vote,
meaning he scaled the margin by only 4,109 votes; he's also reported to
have secured enough votes in the required n
umber of counties. 
 
Raila Odinga is reported to have come in second with 43.3% of the vote. 
 
He's
refused to concede and plans a court challenge according to a
spokesperson Salim Lone, who is quoted in The New York Times saying:
“Raila has no intention of conceding and will be challenging this in
court,” and that, “The level of the failures in the system makes it very
difficult to believe it was a credible result, and if Uhuru is declared
president, Raila will go to court.” 
 
Mr. Lone also added that Odinga will “very strongly ask people to stay calm” until the courts examine his challenge.

The
voting had been widely praised. Problems started when the computerized
system broke down during the count after about 40% had been announced.
Kenyatta then had a larger lead. The remaining votes were tallied
manually and returns ferried to election headquarters, causing the delay
in the announcement.

Both sides cried foul. Some in Odinga's
camp said the votes had been "doctored." Some Kenyatta supporters said
the British were trying to manipulate the outcome since both the UK and
US were wary of dealing with a president under trial for crimes against
humanity. Meanwhile as more votes were counted Kenyatta's lead margin
narrowed. 
 
Now things are tense again as the final outcome is determined.  
 
Both
candidates must declare that they will abide by the official results
and any court rulings. Both must in the strongest terms urge their
supporters all over the country not to commit violence. They must also
warn of the serious consequences. 
 
Kenyatta and Odinga can
enhance their reputations by jointly calling for calm, peace and
stability. And the outside world must respect the wishes of Kenyans even
if the internationally-preferred candidate comes up short. 
 
Kenyans have spoken. Now they must be heard.


"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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