US, UK, France Congratulate Uhuru Kenyatta On Election Victory


World leaders raced to congratulate President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta after Kenya’s Supreme Court upheld his presidential election victory on Saturday.

The court rejected several petitions challenging the outcome of the March 4 general election, paving the way for Kenyatta’s swearing in as president on April 9.

Here is a round-up of reactions from key players and world leaders to the announcement of the court’s verdict.

Raila Odinga, Kenyatta’s main challenger, said he abides by the court’s ruling, adding in a speech that “respect for the supremacy of the constitution in resolving disputes is the surest foundation of our democratic society.”

He congratulated Kenyatta on his victory.

The British government was the first foreign country to congratulate Kenyatta, with UK Prime Minister David Cameron highlighting the “deep and historic” relationship that “exists between Kenya and the UK . . . with a substantial shared agenda of stability, security, development and prosperity that benefits both our countries.”

US President Barack Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney congratulated Kenyatta and urged Kenyans to peacefully accept the court ruling.

“On behalf of the President and the people of the United States, we congratulate Uhuru Kenyatta on his election as president of Kenya. We also congratulate the people of Kenya on the peaceful conduct of the election and commend Raila Odinga for accepting the Supreme Court’s decision,” Carney said in a statement. “We urge all Kenyans to peacefully accept the results of the election. The electoral process and the peaceful adjudication of disputes in the Kenyan legal system are testaments to the progress Kenya has made in strengthening its democratic institutions, and the desire of the Kenyan people to move their country forward.”

The statement from the White House also urged Kenyans to “come together to fully implement the political, institutional, and accountability reforms envisioned in the Kenyan constitution.”

“Kenya is an important member of the international community,” Carney said. “We welcome and wish to underscore the importance of Kenya’s commitment to uphold its international obligations, including those with respect to international justice.”

Carney added the United States and Kenya had a relationship “based on a shared commitment to democracy, security, and opportunity” for more than 50 years and he doesn’t expect that to change.

President François Hollande of France wrote a letter to Kenyatta posted on the French Embassy in Kenya’s Facebook page, saying that “France considers Kenya and important partner in Eastern Africa, one essential to regional stability, and therefore wishes to continue its cooperation and constructive reinforced political dialogue with you country.”

“I convey you my best wishes of success in your mission serving your country and the Kenyan people, and forward to you, honorable president, my highest consideration,” Hollande said.

The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the European Union also congratulated the new president-elect on his victory.

Image courtesy of Reuters 

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