Tag Archives: President Kibaki

Kenya Seeking Peaceful Way To Resolve Election Dispute

There is a lull in the violence which has wracked Kenya since President Kibaki claimed victory in the recent race for the presidency. Members of the Kenya Electoral Commission are considering asking the courts to organize an independent audit of election tallies in order to ascertain if Kibaki was actually the winner. At least two members of the commission already have had their homes burned to the ground in rural areas of the country where violence still has not completely abated. The Kenya constitution allows any citizen to seek judicial review of an issue, but some experts claim it may not be feasible for the Electoral Commission to be the agent seeking a recount. Raila Odinga of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement fears it may be too late to undertake an audit since key documents may have been “doctored.”

The international community is upset and concerned at events that occurred in Kenya. There is little doubt the final tally for the presidential race is not accurate. Most foreign observers like Britain’s Foreign Minister David Miliband are urging mediation. So far, President Kibaki has ruled out an interim coalition government which is desired by the ODM opposition and insists only the courts can over rule election results. But, is that possible if key documents have already been altered?

Calm Before The Storm Atmosphere In Kenya

The situation in Kenya has become somewhat calm after the fury of outraged Kenyans ripped apart the nation in reaction to the attempt by President Kibaki to steal an election. Over 300 people are dead, including dozens of children, many of whom died trying to get out of a burning church. Several mediators are in Kenya led by Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. After talking with these negotiators, President Kibaki has finally indicated he is open to the possibility of a coalition government. However, the president made clear, violence against his government must cease and his opponents should seek legal redress in the courts if they disagree with the election results. He flatly rejected the idea put forth by opposition leader, Raila Odinga, for a three month interim government. Kibaki, apparently strongly influenced by Tutu, said, “We would accept even another election as long as the Constitution is followed. If the courts decide it, we would accept that.”

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner expressed the feelings of most diplomats when he said: “Were the elections rigged? I think so.” Many observers are expressing a desire for Secretary of Rice to fly to Kenya and use her influence over Kibaki who has close ties with the Bush administration.