General News of Sunday, 10 March 2013
Source: Kofi Annan Foundation
Five days ago, on 4 March 2013, Kenyans went to the polls with optimism and an overriding desire to exercise their democratic right to vote, and to do so peacefully.
Voters, in their millions, stood in long lines and waited patiently to cast their ballots and select their leaders.
The fortitude and dignified behaviour of the Kenyan electorate have been widely acknowledged, and have rightfully won the praise of domestic and international election observer groups.
The Kenyan people have been equally patient as they awaited the announcement of the official results of the presidential race.
I applaud the calm they have displayed, despite the delays and difficulties experienced in the transmission and release of the results.
I welcome the commitment of the presidential candidates and their parties to maintain the peace by urging restraint amongst their supporters.
Let me also highlight the positive role that has been played by the media, in educating the public, promoting peace and exercising good judgment in their elections coverage.
The IEBC has now announced the results of the presidential election. I have also taken note that a presidential candidate has announced his intention to challenge the results, as provided for in the Constitution.
I am encouraged by the decision of his party to resolve its concerns through the judicial process. In doing so, it is acting in accordance with the Constitution and the rule of law.
Elective positions at the constituency and county levels have been decided. The implementation of the 2010 Constitution has taken another giant leap forward as the system of devolved government begins to enter into force.
I congratulate all those who will soon be taking up their elective posts and wish them well as they begin to serve their respective constituencies. In equal measure, I applaud the manner in which those unsuccessful candidates, including other presidential candidates, have accepted the results.
Just as the political leadership of the country has continued to urge calm and restraint, I reiterate my appeal to the Kenyan people to remain peaceful and composed.
The coming weeks will be a test of the strength of Kenya’s democracy, its institutions, its Constitution and its commitment to the rule of law. It will be a test for its leaders and above all, for its people.
I remain confident that Kenya can pass that test and emerge stronger, more stable and secure as a result.
Kofi A. Annan