Kenyans urged to vote calmly

August 3, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3 – With only a day before Kenyans go to the polls to decide on the proposed Constitution, President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have urged Kenyans to exercise their democratic right in a peaceful manner.

In a televised address to the nation, President Kibaki urged Kenyans to come out in large numbers to vote on the Constitution but urged them to remain calm.

He said the referendum was a historic moment for Kenya and every voter must take part in the process.

"Tomorrow, we cast our votes to determine, how we want our country governed. We vote for a future of hope, progress and stability.  I appeal to Kenyans to turn out and cast their votes in large numbers. Let us do so peacefully. Let us also embrace one another as brothers and sisters even after the referendum," the President sad.

He has assured Kenyans that security has been beefed up ahead of the referendum.

He noted that the conclusion of the Constitution review process would enable citizens to shift focus to the urgent work of nation building and creating adequate opportunities for Kenyans, who want to move on and enable the country take its rightful place among the bigger family of nations.

"I assure you all that security has been stepped up in all parts of the country.  Tomorrow, let us all go out and vote peacefully. Thereafter let us get back to undertaking the urgent work of nation building and creating opportunities for our people in this great land we call our home."

The President has been at the forefront in the recent months in drumming up support for the proposed Constitution. He called on Kenyans to remain united and focused on the work ahead.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raila Odinga also sent out a similar message and reminded Kenyans to embrace one another as brothers and sisters adding that the task ahead of them was to vote for a future full of hope, progress and stability.

He said: "The decision we make at this poll will stay with us, our children and grandchildren for generations to come. It is the same way the decision our parents and grandparents made in Lancaster in the 1960s has stayed with us until this day."

Mr Odinga sought to reassure Kenyans and the international community that Kenya would not disintegrate into chaos if the referendum delivers an upset.

He appealed to all Kenyans from both the Red and Green camps to turn out in large numbers and cast their vote, assuring them of a free and fair process.
"Since the 2007 election that ended in chaos, the world has entertained a belief that Kenyans cannot hold peaceful, free and fair polls," he said.

He urged Kenyans to rise above ethnic and religious affiliation and come out to make their vote count.

"Let us prove that we can still stand up and make hard decisions for ourselves peacefully, in a free and fair contest." said the PM

Mr Odinga said the vote is only the beginning of the journey.

"There is still quite a distance to cover. The road ahead will be long, rough and sometimes steep," he said.


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