Kenya s no leader concedes referendum defeat

August 5, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – The NO team accepted defeat on Thursday afternoon and called for immediate consultations with the YES team to agree on modalities of amending contentious issues in the new Constitution.

The de-facto leader of the NO team William Ruto told a news conference at the Bomas of Kenya that the most important task ahead now is "to ensure Kenyans remain united."

"We in the NO team are happy that the referendum has been held in a peaceful manner. We have seen one of the most peaceful referendum ever in Kenya, we want
to thank our supporters who resisted all manner of intimidation and voted No," he said.

"As members of the No team we want to say that we respect the verdict of the majority of Kenyans who voted and endorsed this Constitution. As democrats we believe that the majority have had their say and we have also had our say," he

"Now that majority of Kenyans have approved that we pass the constitution and consider the amendments later, we propose that we have consultations with the Yes team to agree on the modalities of carrying out the amendments which we had proposed earlier," Mr Ruto said.

He said the most important task ahead is to unite both sides of the YES and NO teams as well as Kenyans who abstained from voting.

"We thank all the Kenyans who participated in the voting exercise on both sides,  it was indeed a historic moment, we must work out to and reach out to all to ensure we unite all the Kenyans," he said.

The Higher Education Minister urged supporters of both sides to agree with the verdict and remain peaceful.

"As democrats we say we have accepted the verdict but we are proposing a way forward, the issues we had brought forward must now be addressed and consultations must be started immediately," he said.

"I think the onus is on both sides, we have made a proposal that consultations starts immediately so that we bring together all Kenyans together," he said.

Mr Ruto lauded the IIEC for carrying out a peaceful referendum exercise. "I think the IIEC has done a great job despite all the hurdles," he said.

Meanwhile retired President Moi has expressed his dissatisfaction with the new constitution, which was voted in by majority of Kenyans in the just ended referendum.

In a statement issued by his press secretary Lee Njiru in Nakuru Mr Moi said he is still opposed to certain contents in the draft.

He said the fact that the new law was rejected in Rift Valley was a strong statement that should not be ignored.

The former Head of State said he still maintained the stand and reasons that informed his position on the new constitution.

Mr Moi reiterated that the land question was still emotive adding that the abolition of provinces had affected the Rift Valley because it was not as homogenous as the rest of the regions.


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