Commonwealth boss praises Kenya’s commitment to peace

Commonwealth Secretary-General  Patricia Scotland.

Commonwealth Secretary-General  Patricia Scotland. PHOTO | COURTESY | COMMONWEALTH

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has lauded Kenya’s top presidential candidates for their commitment to uphold peace despite a dispute over the electoral results.

On Thursday, a delegation of US legislators led by Senator Chris Coons held talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, President-elect William Ruto and presidential contender Raila Odinga in separate meetings, where all three leaders affirmed their commitment to peace.

Ms Scotland said in a statement Thursday that she has personally spoken to Wafula Chebukati, the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Mr Ruto and Mr Odinga.

“I am reassured that the rule of law will be respected and pleased to hear that all sides are committed to ensuring peace and letting the process play out in the court of law,” she said.

Ms Scotland also praised the transparency of the electoral process, while acknowledging the concerns that have been raised by some IEBC commissioners, and the impending court case challenging the results declared by Mr Chebukati.

Following the declaration of Dr Ruto as President-elect having won the election with 50.49 percent of the valid votes cast, four IEBC commissioners disputed the results, claiming that the chairperson conducted the last phase of the tallying process without transparency.

Mr Odinga, who came second with 40.85 percent, has also disputed the results, and has vowed to challenge them in the Supreme Court.

“Whatever the outcomes of that process, I trust and know that democracy will win the day and this is something all Kenyans should indeed be proud of,” Ms Scotland said.

“I look forward to supporting the people of Kenya as we follow up on the recommendations of the Commonwealth Observer Group in the coming months, and seek ways for the Commonwealth to enhance its engagement with Kenya.”

The Commonwealth of Nations, which is an association of 56 countries majority of which are the United Kingdom’s current and former territories, had sent an observer mission to Kenya’s August 9 polls, headed by former president of Botswana, Festus Mogae.

Ms Scotland, a British national, has been serving as the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth since 2018, and won a second 4-year term during the election held at the Heads of State and Government meeting in Rwanda’s capital Kigali in June.


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