The Commonwealth has pledged to continue to monitor developments in Kenya and assist in upholding the rule of law, a fundamental value of the Commonwealth Charter, following the staging of the `swearing in’ of opposition party leader Raila Odinga on January 30, 2018
The Commonwealth has pledged to continue to monitor developments in Kenya and assist in upholding the rule of law, a fundamental value of the Commonwealth Charter, following the staging of the `swearing in’ of opposition party leader Raila Odinga on January 30, 2018.
The Commonwealth Secretariat observed the general election on October 26, 2017 which saw Uhuru Kenyatta elected President.
It followed an annulment by the Supreme Court of the first presidential election on August 8, 2017 when the opposition political coalition National Super Alliance (NASA) brought a case of irregularities and undemocratic procedures against the result, which had been verified by the Commonwealth.
President Kenyatta was sworn into office on November 28, 2017 and the Commonwealth has pledged to safeguard the rule of law both under the Commonwealth Charter and Constitution of Kenya.
The non-compliance of the government with a High Court order relating to the forced closure of media houses also compromised the values of Commonwealth Charter and the Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, commended the subsequent decision to restore transmissions rights to two television stations.
Scotland added that she hoped there would soon be full compliance with the High Court order, as the Commonwealth Charter article `Freedom of Expression’ declares that each member state must remain `committed to peaceful, open dialogue and the free flow of information, including through a free and responsible media, and to enhancing democratic traditions and strengthening democratic processes.’
In a statement, the Secretary-General urged Kenya’s government, opposition, citizens, media, civil society and all stakeholders to prioritise the national interest and its commitment to Commonwealth principles above party affiliation and other considerations, encouraging peaceful dialogue between all to move Kenya towards compatibility with the Constitution.
In recognition of Kenya as a valued and longstanding member of the Commonwealth, the Secretary-General reaffirmed the organisation’s collective desire to provide any support required.
Read More: Opposition leader Raila Odinga was `sworn in’ as the `people’s president’ on January 30, 2018, despite the gathering at Uhuru Park being prohibited by the official President, Uhuru Kenyatta