, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – British High Commissioner Christian Turner now says the just concluded political party primaries should serve as a great lesson to Kenyans despite the chaos experienced in some parts of the country.
Speaking to Capital FM News on Monday, Turner observed that there were many new issues to be dealt with and urged those with grievances to use the set down mechanisms to address them.
“The primaries have a lot of lessons learned for everyone. This is a new process so there are a lot of new systems in place and the key message for me is that if people have grievances or disputes, they should be addressed through peaceful and legitimate means,” he said.
“There is a clear dispute resolution process and that is what people should go to and not riot on the streets,” he stated.
He however pointed out that the dispute resolution mechanisms in each party need to be transparent and fair to all.
“That is for each political party to be clear on because it is a political party process, not one run by the IEBC. There needs to be transparency, there needs to be clear communication and the voting mechanism in each polling station needs to be made clear in every party,” he said.
He indicated that the way issues are being dealt with in the primaries will be a reflection of how the general election would be.
“Everyone wants the upcoming elections to be safe credible and fair and this is absolutely essential for a smooth transition. We cannot see the violence that we saw in 2008 since that would be damaging to the country,” he said. “So if there are grievances, then the legitimate processes should be followed. If you are the loser, you should accept defeat and move on.”
His sentiments were echoed by Eagle Coalition presidential aspirant Peter Kenneth, who said politics should not be just for convenience but should be what is right and what will help move the country forward.
“It is important as a country that in whichever field we are all bound by values that promote democracy,” he stated.
His running mate Ronnie Osumba pointed out that voters should exercise restraint and take time to vote in the right leaders.
“It’s hard seeing the people’s will being thrown to the dogs. Our appeal is that we need to exercise restraint. There is indeed still an opportunity for Kenyans to decide their leaders come March 4. We should not allow ourselves to be used,” he stated. “The time to make right choices for the right leaders will come.”
Protests rocked Kisumu and its environs on Sunday as residents disputed ODM gubernatorial nominations results that suggested that Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s sister Ruth had won the nominations.
The standoff came barely a day after Siaya County residents staged demonstrations to protest against former Bondo MP Oburu Odinga who is an elder brother to the PM after he was announced the winner for the gubernatorial position there.
The party has since denied the claims that it has handed tickets to the prime minister’s relatives.