NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
The United States on Wednesday urged Kenyan
opposition to pursue electoral reforms within the country’s laws
and to avoid extra-constitutional actions such as the proposed
“inauguration ceremony” slated for Dec. 12.
In a statement
issued in Nairobi at the conclusion of a three-day visit by U.S.
acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald
Yamamoto, Washington called on authorities to respect
independent judiciary, protect the democratic space for a
vibrant civil society and media, and ensure all citizens have
the right to express their views.
“We again call for
an immediate, sustained, open, and transparent national
conversation involving all Kenyans to build national unity,
address long-standing issues, and resolve the deep divisions
that the electoral process has exacerbated,” said the statement.
leader Raila Odinga’s spokesman Salim Lone said the planned
swearing-in is on course despite fears expressed by the
swearing-in will be lawful. It will help prevent further
polarization by giving Kenyans hope for electoral justice that
was denied them, under a genuinely independent Electoral and
Boundary Commission,” Lone said in a statement issued in
cycle dragged on from August to Nov. 28 when President Uhuru
Kenyatta was inaugurated due to political differences over
electoral reforms and rigging.
Lone said Odinga has
also always been open to a dialogue as he had sought it before
elections to ensure that it would be credibly done, but there
was no interest in the dialogue nor in holding an honest
In its statement,
Washington said its concerned by the recent outbreaks of
violence and urged security services that they have a
responsibility to show maximum restraint at all times and to
protect the right of citizens to assemble.
“We urge the quick
and independent investigation of reports of excessive use of
force by the security services, and that officials responsible
for abuses be held accountable. Protesters who are exercising
their constitutional rights have an obligation to do so
peacefully,” said Washington.
Odinga withdrew from
the repeat presidential poll on Oct. 26 but his name was
retained in the ballot.
He 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 Aug. 8 general elections.
leader later urged the 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
He has since
announced the formation of a national resistance movement that
is exerting 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.