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US backs Kenyatta as Kenya’s president, rejects Odinga

US backs Kenyatta as Kenya’s president, rejects Odinga
February 02
11:12 2018
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The US government has declared its support for Uhuru Kenyatta as the president of Kenya.

It said Kenyatta was validly elected in accordance with the country’s constitution.

Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, had on Tuesday sworn himself in as president after the country’s apex court had upheld Kenyatta’s victory in the November re-run election.

The first election, held in September 2017, was annulled by the court following alleged irregularities.

The US department of state, in a statement by Heather Nauert, its spokesperson, said it was gravely concerned by Odinga’s self-inauguration as Kenya’s ‘People’s President’.

“We reject actions that undermine Kenya’s Constitution and the rule of law,” the statement read.

“Uhuru Kenyatta was elected as President of the Republic of Kenya on Oct. 26, 2017 in a poll that was upheld by Kenya’s Supreme Court.

“Grievances must be resolved through appropriate legal mechanisms.

“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.

 

“We are also deeply concerned by the Government’s action to shut down, intimidate, and restrict the media.

‘Freedom of expression, including for members of the media, is essential to democracy and is enshrined in Kenya’s Constitution.

‘We again urge Kenyan leaders and citizens to begin a national conversation to build cohesion and address long-standing issues.

“The US continues to support efforts by religious, business, and civil society leaders to begin this conversation in the near future and calls on everyone to participate in this endeavour.

“The US stands firmly with the people of Kenya; it is only Kenyans who can find a way to resolve their differences and chart the destiny of this great country.”

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