Kenyan leaders vote in referendum

August 4, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 4 – President Mwai Kibaki has cast his vote in Othaya.

The Head of State, who was accompanied by his son Jimmy Kibaki cast his vote at 11.10am at Munaini Primary School.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga cast his vote at Kibera Primary School at exactly 10.20am on Wednesday morning.

Mr Odinga who had been absent for most of the latter stage of the ‘Yes’ campaigns due to illness said that the referendum was a milestone in Kenya’s history and that Kenyans should come out and decide their fate.

“It’s a defining moment for our country when Kenyans have an opportunity to decide their destiny. Today is a day Kenyans have been waiting for a very long time and to reconcile with history,” said Mr Odinga moments after voting.

Eldoret North MP William Ruto meanwhile remains confident that Kenyans will reject the proposed constitution at Wednesday’s referendum.

Mr Ruto, who spoke after casting his vote at Kosachei Polling Station on Wednesday morning, said that a rejection of the draft would provide an opportunity for various contentious issues in the proposed law to be looked at afresh.

“When we take that decision, it will give us that opportunity to correct the mistakes in this draft constitution and to pass a constitution that will create harmony and unity in our country,” he said.

The Higher Education Minister added that he would call the ‘No’ protagonists together to discuss the way forward if the draft is rejected.

“We will definitely embark on the very serious issue of bringing the groups on the ‘No’ side together and agreeing on the amendments that need to be done and embark on the implementation process which is not a small feat,” said Mr Ruto.

“That requires the participation of both sides to be able to drive the post referendum scenario. We have to agree on the contentious issues already highlighted in the campaign. The process I think will take us one or two months to agree on the road map at least before Christmas.”

Mr Ruto has been at the coalface of the ‘No’ campaign, which has highlighted several issues in the draft relating to same sex marriages, abortion and land.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said after voting in Gatundu South that a new constitution heralds a new beginning for Kenya.

“It’s a new social contract between those who govern and those who are governed and Kenyans have an opportunity in shaping and putting together that new social contract,” said Mr Kenyatta.


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