NAIROBI (Xinhua) --The
U.S.-based observer group Carter Center on Wednesday called on
Kenya’s political leaders to engage in constructive talks to
help avert the political crisis in the country following the
Oct. 26 presidential elections.
Such talks will help
bridge the gap between the opposition and ruling parties, and
their respective supporters, following a tense electoral period
that has polarized the country, according to the Carter Center.
"Rather than consolidating support for a national political
program, the election polarized the country and exposed the deep
tribal and ethnic rifts that have longed characterized its
politics," the group said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
The opposition leader Raila Odinga withdrew from the repeat
presidential poll but his name was retained in the ballot.
Odinga had argued that the mistakes that brought about the
annulment of the Aug. 8 vote was most likely to be repeated
because reforms have not been taken at the electoral body,
including the resignations of staffers who bungled the August
The opposition leader later urged the Independent Electoral
and Boundary Commission (IEBC) to postpone the repeat polls in
light of the ongoing political turmoil and disagreements among
the stakeholders, urging his supporters to stay away from the
Odinga later announced the formation of a national resistance
movement that will exert pressure on the government to promote
rule of law, electoral reforms and human rights.
Odinga said economic boycott, picketing and formation of a
grassroots movement will underpin his quest for justice in the
electoral system as well as political inclusivity.
Last week, he urged his supporters to boycott products of
three companies they accused of working with President Uhuru
Kenyatta’s government to defeat electoral justice in recent
In its statement, The Carter Center said the fresh
presidential election unfolded in a context of heightened
tensions stemming from the protracted electoral process,
confrontational tactics and harsh verbal attacks by key
political leaders, and outbursts of violence around election
"These problems severely undermined the ability of Kenya’s
electoral and judicial institutions to implement the fresh
presidential elections," it said.
According to the observer group, the actions of political
leaders have served to weaken its democratic and independent
institutions, constrain the ability of citizens to participate
in the civic affairs of their country, and damage the nation’s
"In the days ahead, it is incumbent on political leaders to
put personal agendas aside and take steps to heal the country
while maintaining the country’s constitutional order," it said.
The center which sent a core team of experts in Kenya since
April, monitoring key parts of the electoral process, including
voter registration, campaigning, electoral preparations, and the
recent resolution of disputes in the courts, promised to release
a comprehensive statement on the overall election process after
its completion in early 2018.