NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 7 – US ambassador Robert Godec has urged Kenya to ensure that next year’s general election is peaceful, free and fair as he pledged his country’s support for the process.
Speaking after President Barack Obama’s re-election, the acting envoy said it was the aspiration of America that Kenya will transit to the next government through a democratic process.
“The next political step is the national general elections. The US will support Kenya to have free fair and peaceful elections. We will do what we can to assist Kenya to have a peaceful election,” he asserted.
He acknowledged Kenya for passing the new constitution and embarking on an elaborative reform system intended to improve governance and accountability in the country.
Godec called on Kenya to ensure that the next general election will be in honour and practice of what is stipulated in the 2010 constitution.
“Kenya is a great a nation, Kenyans are a great people. Together Kenyans voted and adopted a modern constitution and Kenyans are now working to implement it. They are putting in place reforms,” he said.
He further announced that the US will invest its resources to support the electoral process but made it clear that it was up to Kenyans to vote for their preferred candidates.
Godec said: “Since 2010 the US has contributed Sh2.5 billion to help Kenya with its elections. Where we can help we will, but this will be a Kenyan election, it will be your vote, your choice. It will build on the spirit of the new constitution. It will take Kenya to a secure and prosperous future.”
He at the same time reminded Kenyans that it is important to base their politics on issues and also to ensure they keep off divisions especially along negative ethnicity.
“There should be a national dialogue on issues. It should be what Kenyans want from their leaders. As campaigns go on, Kenyans have a shared reasonability to choose who will win. All Kenyans no matter their ethnicity should ensure free, fair and peaceful elections,” he appealed.
He also urged Kenyans to emulate the US presidential election which he said despite the close vote, Americans chose peace. “It was a close presidential vote, but people remained peaceful. Many were disappointed but they accepted the outcome.”
In view of the close vote, he said both Democrats and Republicans have a task of working together to address issues in their country.
Tom Wolf, formerly of Steadman Group in Kenya was concerned that Obama will face challenges in reaching out to the Republicans looking at almost the half split of voters they garnered with his competitor Romney.
“When the dust settles, America needs to look at how divided the country is. How do you govern the country when emotions, the policies and the ideologies are different and divisions are so bitter,” he queried.
According to him, reaching out to the Republicans will be a challenge that he has to deal with in his next four years to have his policies and ideas supported.