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UN chief urges peaceful elections in Kenya
Thursday, February 28, 2013
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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for peaceful and credible elections in Kenya as he discussed the next week's polls with President Mwai Kibaki.
In a telephone call with Kibaki on Wednesday, Ban voiced the hope that all Kenyans will work together to ensure that next week's elections are peaceful, expressing appreciation for efforts made to strengthen Kenya's democracy and its electoral system since the last general elections.
"He trusts that efforts made at many levels to prevent a repeat of past violence will be redoubled during the remainder of the campaign," said a news release from the UN, citing information provided by the Secretary-General's spokesperson.
The March 4 elections are regarded as one of the most significant event in the history of this country because they will be the very first to be held since the 2007/2008 post election violence, when, within a seven-week period following the polls, and as a direct consequence of the contested results.
The elections are also significant because they will be the very first to be organized under Kenya's 2010 Constitution, which provides for safeguards against unfair, insecure, corrupted, non- transparent or inefficiently administrated elections.
Already, the country's security agencies and the electoral body charged with overseeing the March 4 polls have confirmed their readiness for the exercise.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Isaack Hassan and the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo said adequate measures are in place to make next week's polls successful.
During the conversation with Kibaki, Ban stressed the importance of respecting the independence of the judiciary and the authority of the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC), which is entrusted with organizing the elections, and ensuring that the results reflect the will of the Kenyan people.
He was encouraged by the recent statements made by all the presidential candidates to reaffirm their commitment to a peaceful and tolerant campaign, and to appeal to their supporters to do the same, and to reject inflammatory rhetoric, violence or fraudulent actions.
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