Trump piles more pressure on Uhuru, Raila ahead of 'swearing

Lester Mason
Декабря 6, 2017

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 in Nairobi at the conclusion of a three-day visit by USA acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto, Washington called on authorities to respect independent judiciary, protect the democratic space for a vibrant civil society and media, and ensure all citizens have the right to express their views.

"As part of reducing these tensions and strengthening institutions, we urge Kenyans to join together and hold immediate and open national dialogue", read a statement from State Department.

The leader of the opposition coalition party, the National Super Alliance (Nasa), vowed that he and his followers would never recognise either the president or his government and stated that he would begin a campaign of civil disobedience.

Mr Lone rebuffed claims that the December 12 ceremony is illegal, saying the oath will help prevent further polarisation in the country by giving Kenyans hope for electoral justice denied them under the electoral commission.

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Odinga's controversial move followed the official swearing-in of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta on November 28 for his second term in office.

Mr Lone added that Mr Odinga is open to dialogue if it is between equals as was the case in 2008 between President Mwai Kibaki and Mr Odinga.

The US statement also urges Kenya's security forces to show "maximum restraint" after months of deadly clashes with opposition supporters.

Odinga withdrew from the repeat presidential poll on October 26 but his name was retained in the ballot.

However, he said, the talks must have an agreed agenda, which should also include electoral justice.

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