General elections in Kenya have sparked dissent as Deputy President William Ruto bagged a narrow victory, whilst the Commonwealth has called for peace trusting a democratic and fair process.
Ruto has been declared President-Elect after a closely fought race in the contested elections held on 9 August (50.5 per cent of the vote compared to the 48.8 per cent of his main opponent, Raila Odinga).
Four of the seven election commissioners at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) have since challenged Ruto’s victory amid allegations of lack of transparency and rigging.
It is has been reported that Odinga will likely bring the case to court as he rejected the results.
The Commonwealth Observer Group deployed to oversee the electoral process has sent an urgent call to address such allegations.
The Group has urged Kenyans to come together as a nation and not to rush to judgment before evidence is made public, and wait for the appropriate authority to independently scrutinise claims.
In the meantime, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, has made the following statement about the elections:
“On 9 August, Kenyans went to the poll to participate in a democratic process to elect their new political representatives.
“It was a process, many international and national observer missions including the Commonwealth Observer Group commended as largely peaceful and transparent.
“I am aware that after the elections results were declared on August 15, some commissioners from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) have raised some concerns about the results and there is an impending court case.
“Having personally spoken to Mr. Chebukati, Chair of the 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.
“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.
“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. Asante.”
Learn more: The Commonwealth Secretariat