NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
There is need for aspirants for various political
seats to tone down inflammatory rhetoric in order to prevent
civil disruptions as Kenya gears up for August 8 general
elections, a lobby group said on Tuesday.
from the Kenyan Chapter of African Bar Association said at a
press briefing in Nairobi the East African nation’s stability
hinges on civil political discourse that unites instead of
dividing citizens along ethnic and sectarian lines.
Alex Gatundu, the
Secretary General of African Bar Association, Kenyan affiliate
stressed that respect to the rule of law, non-interference with
independent institutions and issues-based campaigns were key to
facilitating smooth political transition during the August
“Every citizen in
this country has a constitutional right to participate in an
electoral process. However, the quest for elective seats should
not jeopardize peace and stability in the country,” Gatundu
He urged aspirants
for political seats and their supporters to engage in peaceful
campaigns to avoid electoral related violence like the one Kenya
witnessed in 2007 to 2008.
The campaign season
has entered homestretch as Kenya gears up for hotly contested
elections of a new president, lawmakers, county executives and
Kenyatta and his rival in the opposition National Super Alliance
(NASA), Raila Odinga are running well-oiled campaigns in an
attempt to grab a higher number of votes.
during this campaign season has raised concern from Kenya’s
bilateral partners and rights advocates.
The European Union
recently warned against possible eruption of poll-related chaos
in the absence of deterrent measures.
At the same time,
rights groups have raised alarm over growing inter-tribal
tensions in the Rift Valley region linked to incitement by local
Gatundu said that
leading political parties, the polls agency and security
personnel have a responsibility to ensure peace and stability
prevails during the August polls.
“Every arm of government and contestants for elective posts
should agree on modalities of maintaining peace during the
entire election cycle,” said Gatundu, adding that peaceful
elections will strengthen Kenya’s economic and diplomatic clout.