Kenya cautions foreigners against interfering with elections By XINHUA | Tuesday, February 12 2013 at 11:20
The Kenya government on Monday cautioned the international community against interfering with Kenya's upcoming general elections slated for March 4.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Professor Sam Ongeri told journalists in Nairobi that remarks on the International Criminal Court (ICC) attributed to European Union (EU) envoys in Kenya are clearly inflammatory and could have the effect of polarising the country.
"The forthcoming elections are heavily contested and statements warning Kenyans that the poll results if in favour of certain candidates would have consequences could amount to taking sides," Prof Ongeri said after a meeting with the EU ambassadors accredited to Kenya.
The statement comes after the United States, Britain and France cautioned Kenyans against voting presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto who are facing war crime charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC), warning the choice could have "consequences."
However both Mr Kenyatta and his running mate in Jubilee Coalition have stressed that if elected they will abide by international laws and norms but will not be coerced by demands of "meddling" foreign powers.
While Kenyatta and Ruto have been cleared by the electoral body to run for the presidency and vice-presidency respectively, the Kenyan High Court will make a ruling on February 14 whether the two have passed the integrity test to run for the two positions.
Prof Ongeri noted that the EU is a key observer accredited by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and taking a particular position in the polls is a breach of the electoral code of conduct.
However EU envoys in Kenya on Monday rejected the allegation of interfering in the country's electoral process ahead of the forthcoming polls.
In a joint statement issued in Nairobi, some 20 envoys said the EU does not support any candidate for any office, adding that they trust the Kenyan people to make wise decisions and elect responsible leaders.
"The envoys rejected any allegation of interfering in the elections process. They were clear that it is for the Kenyan people to elect their leaders. Envoys strongly refute making any statements that could incite violence," a statement issued after Monday's meeting with Prof Ongeri said.
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Beyond the ballot