, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger on Thursday urged the government to ensure an inclusive and transparent implementation process of the new Constitution.
He said it was important for the government to hold sincere consultations with all stakeholders in the country to ensure a credible process.
"Critical components must be implemented well before the onset of the 2012 electoral campaign in order to set up the constitutional structures, electoral units and safeguards which will help ensure a peaceful and credible electoral process," he said.
Though he emphasised the need to urgently implement the new law, the ambassador said the civil society, religious groups, the media and all stakeholders in the country should be consulted to ensure the implementation is highly inclusive.
Mr Ranneberger who spoke during a forum on civil society and the implementation of the new constitution further said the implementation process would only be supported by the international community if it meets international standards and fulfills the expectations of Kenyans.
He said the implementation should also be done in a way that leaders and other people in government positions are made more accountable. He also pressed for proper leadership and direction to ensure Kenyans get the Constitution they voted for.
At the same time he asked Kenyans to also play their role by questioning and pushing the government to fulfill the constitution promise.
"The public must be vigilant and demand expedited delivery on promises made and new social compact," he said.
He identified the judiciary as a key area that required special scrutiny to keep away corruption and cronyism, "This requires appointment of a Chief Justice of the highest caliber and rigorous vetting of judges based on sound criteria and review independent experts."
He said it was important for there to be an open candidate selection and allow public discussion of the names under considerations for appointments to all government offices ensuring that only qualified people get the positions.
Devolution was also another area he felt should be implemented in a way that will facilitate transfer of authority to local levels by observing accountability.
The ambassador appealed to Kenyan leaders to keep politics out of the implementation process. He said it was unfair that some of them were already focusing on politics instead of the new law.
"Let politics as usual be put on hold in the greater interest of all the Kenyan people. Instead of salivating at the prospect of more spoils as a result of the expanded number o constituencies, the expansion of Parliament, let Kenya\’s political leaders instead focus on implementation of the new Constitution," he said.