AU and Igad urge peace ahead of Kenya's repeat election
The African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development have called for peace ahead of Thursday’s fresh presidential election, with the latter threatening unspecified sanctions against leaders who may use unconstitutional means to ascend to power.
AU Commission Deputy Chairperson Thomas Kwesi Quartey says Kenyans who wish to vote should be allowed to do so.
“No Kenyan should allow himself to be intimidated or frightened. I think Kenyans should go out en masse and vote peacefully and vote wisely because it is in that vote that their sovereignty resides,” Mr Qaurtey said at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“It is that vote that is an expression of Kenyan sovereignty and Kenyan leadership in Africa.”
Mr Qaurtey was speaking when the Council of Kenya Professionals (CKP) presented a petition to urge the AU and Igad to initiate sanctions, including travel bans, against Nasa leader Raila Odinga should Kenya slide to anarchy following the demonstrations he has called for.
Lawyers Ababu Namwamba, Danson Mungatana, and the former Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro presented the petition to the continental agency, asking it to take action.
“As far as we see, the opposition went to the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court made an adjudication, made a decision and instructed the electoral commission to have election within 60 days. That is being done. The electoral commission assures the whole world that all the procedures are up to scratch and they are ready to hold transparent elections,” Mr Quartey said after meeting the team led by Mr Namwamba.
The team also presented a similar petition to Mr Daniel Yifru, the Igad senior political adviser who described the current political stalemate as a test to Kenya’s democracy and Constitution.
“Our election observers are there on the ground right now and will follow the developments very closely. I wish to assure the delegation that Igad will not sit idle, but will take appropriate measure as and when necessary. We hope that the current impasse is not an intension by anybody to reserve the leadership through illegal or unconstitutional means,” said Mr Yifru.
Mr Odinga has called for street protests to demand wide-ranging reforms, some of which he said had not been done when he dramatically withdrew from the fresh poll and demanded a new election 90 days after fresh nominations.