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UN chief pledges to help Kenya after peaceful polls

English.news.cn   2013-03-31 22:57:21            

NAIROBI, March 31 (Xinhua)--The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Sunday promised the world body's strong support for Kenya after the East African nation ended a peaceful electoral process.

In phone conversations with Kenya's President-Elect Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Ban reiterated his congratulations to the people of Kenya on the holding of peaceful and credible elections that should strengthen Kenya's democracy and its unity.

"He urges that continued calm and a peaceful atmosphere prevail, " Ban said in a statement issued in Nairobi on Sunday from the Nairobi-based UN Information Center.

"The Secretary-General spoke by phone today with Uhuru Kenyatta to express congratulations on his election as President of Kenya," the statement said.

During his conversation with Odinga, the UN secretary general commended the prime minister's participation in the process and his acceptance of the outcome following the decision of the Supreme Court.

"The Secretary-General wishes the newly-elected government and people of Kenya every success in meeting the many challenges and opportunities facing Kenya. The United Nations pledges its strong support," the statement said.

In their unanimous ruling on Saturday, the six-judge bench of the Supreme Court said upheld the election of Kenyatta as the fourth president of Kenya saying the elections were indeed conducted in compliance with the Constitution and the law.

"After extensive deliberations, we are happy to announce the Supreme Court has reached a unanimous decision on all the four issues that fell for determination in presidential election Petition No. 3, 4 and 5 as consolidated," said Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga.

"As to whether the presidential election held on March 4 2013, was conducted in a free, fair, transparent and credible manner, in compliance with the provisions of the Constitution and all relevant provisions of the law; it is the decision of the court that the said elections were indeed conducted in compliance with the Constitution and the law," he said.

The judgment paves way for the swearing in ceremony of Kenyatta set for April 9 in Nairobi. The Head of Public Service Francis Kimemia said the government will gazette Tuesday, April 9 as a public holiday when Kenyatta will be sworn in as president.

"The rehearsals will begin on Monday. We have adopted the program we had earlier on," Kimemia said on Saturday.

The ruling also clears way for Kenyatta who beat Odinga in terms of votes won, with 50.07 percent versus 43.28 percent, but only narrowly avoided a run-off by just edging above the 50 percent threshold, to take the top job in East Africa's biggest economy.

"It is the decision of the court that the third and fourth respondents were validly elected," Mutunga said in court, referring to Kenyatta and his running mate and deputy president William Ruto.

Meanwhile, Kenyatta on Sunday reaffirmed his personal commitment to working towards improving the lives of all Kenyans.

The son of Kenya's founding leader emphasized that his government will work with all stakeholders to ensure that the promises made to citizens are fulfilled.

"I dedicate myself to do everything I can to improve the country and change the lives of all Kenyans," Kenyatta said during a church service in Nairobi and thanked Kenyans for upholding peace before, during and after the elections.

He called on Christians and Kenyans in general to continue praying for peace and tranquility, saying the country's development goals cannot be realized in the absence of stability.

Saying the elections are now over, the President-elect urged all Kenyans to unite and rededicate themselves to building the nation.

"I am looking forward to all of us getting back to work on Tuesday to continue building our beloved nation," Kenyatta said.

The President elect, once again, wished all Kenyans a happy and blessed Easter.

The March 4 polls were the very first to be held since the 2007/ 2008 post-election violence, when, within a 7 week period following the polls, and as a direct consequence of the contested results, thousands of civilians were victims of serious crimes, including killings, sexual and gender based violence, forced internal displacements, destruction of properties.

Editor: yan
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