Foreign envoys from 11 countries have mounted pressure on National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga to first recognize Uhuru Kenyatta as the legitimately elected President as the starting point for dialogue to end political impasse in the country.
In a joint statement, the 11 termed as unconstitutional the January 30th swearing in of Odinga as people's president, even as they criticized some actions taken by the Jubilee administration following the oath.
“A father of multi-party democracy has made unsubstantiated claims about elections and unilaterally sworn himself as “President”, in deliberate disregard of the Constitution for which he so proudly fought,” read part of the statement.
“The Opposition must accept the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the election of October 26. Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are the legitimate President and Deputy President of Kenya. The Opposition needs to accept this as the basis for the dialogue that it and many Kenyans want. Stoking and threatening violence are not acceptable, nor are extra-Constitutional measures to seize power.”
They added: “The Government, which should be the guarantor of liberty and freedom of expression for all under the law, shut down television stations, seized the passports of Opposition leaders, refused to obey court orders, and deported a prominent Opposition lawyer. These events follow two elections that left many Kenyans dead and many more livelihoods disrupted. For friends of Kenya, alarm bells are ringing.”
Led by American Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec and United Kingdom's Nic Hailey, the diplomatic heads reiterated their earlier push for dialogue as a means of putting the country back to the right track.
“As partners, we will do all we can to help; but only Kenyans can resolve the country’s problems. We again call for an immediate, sustained, open, and transparent National Conversation involving all Kenyans, to build national cohesion, address long-standing issues, and resolve the deep-seated divisions that the electoral process has exacerbated,” they said.
Ambassador Jutta Frasch (Germany), Alison Chartres (Australia), Sara Hradecky of Canada, Mette Knudsen (Denmark), Anna Jardfelt (Sweden), Victor Conrad Rønneberg (Norway), Frans Makken (Netherlands), Tarja Fernández (Finland) and Kim Ramoneda (France) are other envoys included in the statement.