President Barack Obama has congratulated Kenya president-elect, Uhuru Kenyatta, after a six-man Supreme Court judge panel in Kenya, declared that Mr. Kenyatta had won the March presidential election free and fair – thus, legitimizing his presidency. The statement of Mr. Obama’s laudatory message to Kenyatta was release by White House Press Secretary, James Carney.
“On behalf of the President and the people of the United States, we congratulate Uhuru Kenyatta on his election as president of Kenya. We also congratulate the people of Kenya on the peaceful conduct of the election,” the statement read.
Carney further applauded losing presidential candidate, Raila Odinga for complying with the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the electoral commission’s earlier declaration of Kenyatta as winner of the election.
Raila Odinga had challenged the validity of the presidential election; claiming they were tainted and mounted a legal challenge of the results to the Supreme Court.
The statement urged Kenyans to peacefully accept the court’s decision and hinted; that conducting elections and peacefully adjudicating disputes in a court of law, is a manifestation of the country’s progress in fostering democracy and its peoples’ desire to move the country forward.
Commitment and responsibility of Kenya to maintain its international obligations such as international justice, was also highlighted.
In conclusion, the statement stressed the existing partnership of 50 years, between the two countries and promised to maintain that corporation.
“Our relationship is based on a shared commitment to democracy, security, and opportunity. The United States remains committed to our long-standing partnership with the Kenyan people,” it said.
Immediately after the presidential election and subsequent results in early March, there was intense scrutiny on the United States government for not congratulating Kenyatta directly.
This was exacerbated when Secretary of State, John Kerry, glaringly failed to mention Kenyatta’s name in his congratulatory message – on behalf of the United States – instead, he said: “On behalf of the United States of America, I want to congratulate the people of Kenya for voting peacefully on March 4 and all those elected to office.”
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