Zuma congratulates new Kenya president

2013-03-09 16:33
Kenyan presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta gestures to queuing voters after casting his vote, at the Mutomo primary school near Gatundu, north of Nairobi, Kenya. (AP)

Kenyan presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta gestures to queuing voters after casting his vote, at the Mutomo primary school near Gatundu, north of Nairobi, Kenya. (AP)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Saturday congratulated the newly elected president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta.

"President Zuma looks forward to working together with the Kenyan government and the people... in strengthening bilateral relations," the department of international relations said in a statement.

Zuma also commended the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission for a successful and peaceful election process on 4 March.

"Since the introduction of multiparty democracy in 1992, the people of Kenya have shown their determination... to consolidate peace, enhance national reconciliation, strengthen Kenya's democratic process and lay the foundation for economic and social development."

Final results on Saturday showed that Kenyatta narrowly won Kenya's presidential election but his main rival refused to concede, international news agency Agence France-Presse reported.

Failures

Raila Odinga said he would contest the election results.

Odinga, who lost the presidential election, said on Saturday that "democracy is on trial" after the country's election process experienced multiple failures.

Odinga's charges on Saturday echo accusations in 2007 presidential polls when he alleged he was robbed of victory, with disputed results triggering bloody ethnic violence in which more than 1 100 people were killed.

"We have highlighted so many irregularities in the tallying process," Odinga told reporters, shortly after the official release of final results by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Kenyatta took 50.07% of the vote, according to IEBC figures, scraping by the 50% threshold needed to avoid a second round by around 8 400 votes, but beating Odinga by more than 800 000 votes.

"We will therefore shortly move to the court to challenge the outcomes that the IEBC announced," Odinga said.

"Let the Supreme Court determine whether the result announced by the IEBC is the lawful one", he said. He added that he had "faith in the judiciary and the ruling will be respected".

Kenyatta received 6 173 433 votes out of a total 12 330 028 ballots cast, while Odinga got 43.31%.
Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  kenya  |  kenya elections 2013  |  east africa

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