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Monday 11 March 2013

Kenya: Uhuru Kenyatta Elected 4th President

Mr Kenyatta won the presidency after he garnered 6,173,433 votes against his closest rival Raila Odinga’s 5,340,546 votes.

By Newsfromafrica

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta became Kenya’s fourth President on Saturday 9 March afternoon, after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared him the winner of Kenya's election.

Mr Kenyatta won the presidency after he garnered 6,173,433 votes against his closest rival Raila Odinga’s 5,340,546 votes. He achieved the constitutional requirement of more than 50 per cent of the vote by getting 50.07 per cent (4,100 votes above the 50 per cent mark), against Mr Odinga’s 43.31 per cent. He sweeps away a series of steep barriers to take the reins of power in the 50th year of the east African nation’s independence.

Mr Odinga immediately announced he would challenge the result in the Supreme Court, citing irregularities in the electoral process. He rejected the results describing the process as “tainted”. He said the electoral commission had presided over multiple failures that cast doubt on the validity of the results.

In a press conference on Saturday afternoon, Mr Odinga accused the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of delivering yet another “tainted election” and stating that “no one would have been happier than me if I lost fairly,” said he would contest the election outcome in court, since “we now have a judiciary and Supreme Court in whom CORD and most Kenyans have trust.”

Mr Kenyatta’s victory was greeted with caution in major Western capitals.The Western nations were Sunday 10 March  silent on how they will work with the new Kenyan government to be headed by President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta even as the Chinese congratulated the Jubilee flagbearer.

Even though Britain, the United States of America, Canada and the European Union in separate messages, praised Kenyans for holding peaceful elections, they avoided naming Mr Kenyatta and only offered blanket congratulations to all those elected.

Writing in the UK’s Guardian newspaper, editor Simon Tisdall argued that the British and American governments would find a way to work with the new government.

Kenya’s assistance and leadership is seen as crucial in the battle against Indian Ocean piracy and in tackling regional problems including violence and mass displacement in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The UN, which created the ICC, relies on bases in Kenya to help run big trans-national operations across the continent.”

“There is really very little leverage that the US and other countries can exercise,” J. Peter Pham, director of the Michael S. Ansari Africa Center in Washington told the New York Times. Another former American official offered this assessment: “We need Kenya more than Kenya needs us,” he said.

UN boss Ban Ki-moon also refrained from ment Western nations were Sunday silent on how they will work with the new Kenyan government to be headed by President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta even as the Chinese congratulated the Jubilee flagbearer.

Even though Britain, the United States of America, Canada and the European Union in separate messages, praised Kenyans for holding peaceful elections, they avoided naming Mr Kenyatta and only offered blanket congratulations to all those elected.

UN boss Ban Ki-moon also refrained from mentioning Mr Kenyatta. A statement by Mr Ban's spokesman said the UN chief "has noted the results" of Kenya's election.

Mr Ban "congratulates the people of Kenya for their impressive determination to participate peacefully in the elections, and for the patience they have demonstrated while awaiting the results," it added.

African countries including South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Somalia have however been more forthcoming, directly congratulating the winner of Kenya's March 4 election.

Western countries had previously warned that it would not be business as usual should Mr Kenyatta and his deputy president elect William Ruto, all of whom are facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court, win the March 4 elections.

The countries consequently sent coded messages that Kenya’s choices at the elections had consequences, which was interpreted by many as warnings against voting for Mr Kenyatta.

This triggered an angry reaction from Mr Kenyatta's Jubilee coalition which dismissed it as unwanted foreign interference in domestic matters as well as a plot by foreign powers to impose a preferred candidate.

 A statement by Mr Ban's spokesman said the UN chief "has noted the results" of Kenya's election.

Mr Ban "congratulates the people of Kenya for their impressive determination to participate peacefully in the elections, and for the patience they have demonstrated while awaiting the results," it added.

African countries including South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Somalia have however been more forthcoming, directly congratulating the winner of Kenya's March 4 election.

Western countries had previously warned that it would not be business as usual should Mr Kenyatta and his deputy president elect William Ruto, all of whom are facing crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court, win the March 4 elections.

The countries consequently sent coded messages that Kenya’s choices at the elections had consequences, which was interpreted by many as warnings against voting for Mr Kenyatta.

This triggered an angry reaction from Mr Kenyatta's Jubilee coalition which dismissed it as unwanted foreign interference in domestic matters as well as a plot by foreign powers to impose a preferred candidate.

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