Kenya's deputy leader takes hard line over disputed election win

  31 October 2017    Read: 488
Kenya's deputy leader takes hard line over disputed election win
Kenya’s powerful deputy president has ruled out any immediate negotiations with opposition leaders, amid fears of further violent protests in the aftermath of last week’s contentious presidential election rerun, reports citing the Guardian.
William Ruto accused Raila Odinga, the leader of the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa), of transforming the coalition into a “resistance militia” and accused him of deliberately orchestrating violence to undermine democracy.

He also compared Odinga to Joseph Kony, the infamous warlord who has terrorised a swath of east Africa for decades.

“Mr Odinga has chosen to walk away from the democratic arena and says he has transformed his party into a resistance militia or movement ... He has joined the ranks of Joseph Kony, which is unfortunate,” Ruto told the Guardian in an interview at the president’s official residence in Nairobi.

“We are willing to engage with him on how to take the country forward if he renounces violence as a means to furthering a political agenda but …. there is already a political deal that has been established by the constitutional framework of Kenya and the votes of its people.”

The deputy president’s uncompromising words will disappoint those hoping for a rapid end to the standoff between political leaders in Kenya, which analysts say risks months of instability, or even a descent into widespread violence.

Rory Stewart, the UK’s minister for Africa, on Monday called on “all Kenyans to come together at this critical moment in an open and transparent national dialogue, to reject the politics of hatred, and to resolve divisions, so that Kenya moves forward towards greater peace and prosperity”.

On Monday afternoon Kenyatta was finally declared the winner of last week’s poll, which was boycotted by the opposition, with 98% of ballots cast.

Supporters burst into song at the main tallying centre in Nairobi when the result was announced by Wafula Chebukati, the electoral commission chairman.

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