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Uganda's Parliament Calls for Peaceful Post-Election Period in Kenya

On Monday, Kenya's Deputy President William Samoei Ruto was declared as President-elect by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission-IEBC
Kenya's president-elect, William Samoei Ruto.

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The Parliament of Uganda has called for a peaceful post-election period in the neighboring Kenya.

On Monday, Kenya's Deputy President William Samoei Ruto was declared President- elect by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission-IEBC.

The IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati announced Ruto and his running-mate Rigathi Gachagua as the winner of the August 9 presidential election at the Bomas of Kenya, the national tally centre.

He won the race with 7,176,141 votes representing 50.49 per cent of the vote, ahead of his main challenger Raila Odinga who polled 6,942,930 representing 48.85 percent of the vote. Ruto will succeed outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta who, however, did not support his candidature.

In his communication to the Tuesday plenary sitting, Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa commended Kenya for making a choice for a president and appealed for a peaceful post-election period.

He appealed to the East African Community (EAC) country to uphold peace during the transition period saying that the aftermath of the election has a great impact on Ugandans. Tayebwa recommended a legal process for any of the parties who do not agree with the outcome of the election and commended the president-elect for preaching peace and reconciliation.

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Reacting to his statement, a section of MPs tasked the government to pick lessons from Kenya and improve Uganda’s electoral processes.

John Baptist Nambeshe, the Chief Opposition Whip said that the media in Kenya was given freedom to live stream results channeled through the public portal. He said that this is unlike practices in countries neighbouring Kenya and a good practice to copy.

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In response, Tayebwa said that the laws being implemented by each country are passed by Parliaments and that the task is upon MPs to incorporate the good practices.

“It takes two to tangle…it is lessons for all of us. Both of us must learn from the process and of course it was a process which everyone of us would appreciate,” said Tayebwa.

Patrick Nsamba Oshabe, the Kassanda County MP said that the biggest lesson to learn from Kenya is the independence of public institutions. He pointed out the army as a key institution that ensured protection of people without mistreating Kenyans for expressing their views.

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Sarah Opendi, the Tororo Woman MP also commended the peaceful election process in Kenya. Opendi, who doubles as the Chairperson of the Uganda Women’s Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) applauded the election of more women as governers from 4 in 2017 to 7.

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In his acceptance speech, Kenya’s President-elect Ruto said he would run a transparent, open and democratic government, and work with the Opposition who will provide oversight to his administration, adding that there was no room for vengeance.

Ruto said: "I know many are wondering, especially those who have done many things against us. I want to tell them that they have nothing to fear, that there is no room for vengeance, there is no room for looking back, we are looking into the future. We do not have the luxury to apportion blame, we must close ranks and work together for a functioning democratic, prosperous Kenya."

Ruto said this was a win for Kenyans who rejected tribal politics, and that whichever way each of the Kenyans voted, "this will be their government."

However, his address to Kenyans on Tuesday, Ruto’s competitor Odinga rejected the election results and indicated that he was to pursue the legal process to challenge them.

He described the figures announced by the IEBC as null and void and that they must be quashed by courts of law.

“What we saw yesterday was a travesty and a blatant disregard of the Constitution of Kenya by Chebukati. In our view, there's neither a legal and valid declared winner nor a president-elect. We will be pursuing all constitutional and legal options available to us," said Odinga.

Odinga called for calmness from his supporters as they pursue the legal path.

Similarly, four IEBC Commissioners who declined to endorse the election outcome addressed the media and accused Chebukati of solely arriving at the final tally.

Ruto, who has already been gazetted as President-elect is scheduled to be sworn in on 30th August as the 5th President of Kenya, replacing Uhuru Kenyatta who has been President since 2013.

   

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