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Uhuru Kenyatta Pledges To Work for all Kenyans

Uhuru KenyattaKenya has named its new president, but not without sufficient controversy. Uhuru Kenyatta, a man accused of crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court (ICC), won the election with 50.07 percent of the vote, barely avoiding a run-off with Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Though Odinga has announced his intention to dispute the results, both candidates have made it clear that they do not want to repeat the violence seen after the 2007 elections.

After losing that election, Kenyatta allegedly organized and led a Kikuyu group to violence, resulting in the charges from the ICC. He still enjoys tremendous support in the country as the son of its first president, Jomo Kenyatta, and has remained involved in the country’s government despite the allegations against him.

Kenyatta said that he will cooperate with the international community regarding his trial, but asked that the country’s election not be contested by foreign officials. American diplomats initially condemned Kenyatta’s candidacy in the election. Will Ruto, Kenyatta’s running mate and soon-to-be Deputy President, is also facing ICC charges.

“My pledge to you is that as your president I will work on behalf of all citizens regardless of political affiliation,” Kenyatta announced after his victory. “I will honor the will of Kenyans and ensure that my government protects their rights and acts without fear or favor, in the interests of our nation.”

“We expect the international community [to] respect the sovereignty and democratic will of the people of Kenya,” he added.

Odinga vowed to use the court system to appeal the election results, citing “rampant illegality” across the voting process. Before the final tallies were completed, Odinga suggested that the ballot counting process was flawed, with hundreds of thousands of votes being lost in the process. Kenyatta managed to avoid a runoff by about 8,000 votes.

Mindful of the aftermath of the 2007 election, Odinga asked for Kenyans to remain calm during the coming dispute. He told supporters that he believed “democracy was on trial in Kenya,” and has yet to formally concede.

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