Forget swearing-in, US tells Raila
The United States government has urged opposition leader Raila Odinga to call off his swearing-in ceremony slated for Tuesday, December 12, and work within the Constitution to pursue reforms.
In a statement issued by its Embassy in Kenya, the US once again called for immediate and transparent dialogue to resolve the political divisions that have threatened to plunge the country into a crisis.
“The United States urges opposition leaders to work within Kenya’s laws to pursue the reforms they seek and to avoid extra-constitutional actions such as the proposed “inauguration ceremony” on December 12. We again call for an immediate, sustained, open, and transparent national conversation involving all Kenyans,” read part of the statement.
Further, the US vowed to work closely with President Kenyatta as he begins his second and final term.
“The United States will work to deepen our partnership with Kenya of over 50 years. We are committed to working closely with the Kenyan government and people to strengthen further our excellent ties and to enhance security, democracy, and prosperity for everyone,” said the US.
However, Odinga’s advisor Salim Lone on Wednesday said the inauguration ceremony for the opposition leader is on course, adding that the National Super Alliance (NASA) leader is also open for dialogue.
“Mr Odinga’s swearing will be lawful. It will help prevent further polarization by giving Kenyans hope for electoral justice that was denied them, under a genuinely independent IEBC. It will also give new impetus for the People’s Assembly to guide county assemblies in urgently addressing a number of pressing economic and justice issues that will provide material benefits to our people,” said Lone in a statement to newsrooms.
He added: “Mr Odinga has also always been open to a dialogue. He has repeatedly indicated his willingness to enter into a dialogue even now, if it is held between equals, as was done in 2008 between a sworn-in President Kibaki and Mr Odinga. Mr Odinga’s only condition for the dialogue is that it must have an agreed agenda, which should, unlike in 2008, include electoral justice.”
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