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Cablegate: U.S. Government Statement On Kenyan Elections

O 010737Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4023
INFO AMEMBASSY KAMPALA
AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM
AMEMBASSY KIGALI
AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY ABUJA
AMEMBASSY PARIS

UNCLAS NAIROBI 000001

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR AF/FO - J. FRAZER, L. THOMAS-GREENFIELD, J. SWAN;
AF/PD - C. ANYASO, D. WHITMAN; AF/E - R. MEYERS;
S/P - T.CRAIG; AA - J. HOWARD
PARIS FOR ARS - D. QUEEN,
POSTS FOR PAO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO PREL KE
SUBJECT: U.S. Government Statement on Kenyan Elections

REF: Frazer-Ranneberger telcon 12/31/07

Post issued the following press release, U.S.
Government Statement on Kenyan Elections, to all local
and locally-based international media at 1400 local time.

Title: U.S. Government Statement on Kenyan Elections

Begin text:

During the December 27 general elections, the people of
Kenya exercised their democratic rights by turning out
to vote in record numbers in a generally peaceful and
orderly process. The United States congratulates the
people of Kenya and urges them to maintain the dignity
of the democratic process by eschewing violence.

The United States is, however, concerned by serious
problems experienced during the vote counting process.
These included various anomalies with respect to
unrealistically high voter turnout rates, close to 100
percent in some constituencies, discrepancies in the
numbers of votes reported for the respective
candidates, apparent manipulation of some election
reporting documents, and long delays in reporting results.

It is important to note that these problems were not
generalized, but rather limited to about 20 percent of
the 210 constituencies in the country. There are
allegations of vote tampering made by both the Party of
National Unity and the Orange Democratic Movement. The
anomalies and allegations heightened concerns and
tensions on both sides and among voters given the
closeness of the election.

The Electoral Commission, headed by Chairman Samuel
Kivuitu, declared President Kibaki the winner on
December 30. It is important that the rule of law be
respected. Those alleging vote tampering may pursue
legal remedies and should be able, consistent with
respect for freedom of speech, to make their case
publicly. We call on the judiciary to play its role
expeditiously and for the government to uphold civic
freedoms, including media freedom and political rights.

We strongly condemn and deplore the violence which is
taking place, and which took place in the lead-up to
the announcement of the results. Violence harms all
the Kenyan people and serves the legitimate interests
of no person, group, or party.

In the interests of the Kenyan people, it is incumbent
on President Kibaki and leader of the opposition Odinga
to promote peace, and to reach out to each other in
order to work out a way forward for the nation. Both
sides must refrain from any action that would make
cooperation more difficult. Political action based on
mutual accommodation and recognition that each side
represents a significant portion of the Kenyan
electorate will enhance prospects that Kenya can
continue to consolidate its democracy and expand
economic growth. As a good friend and partner of the
Kenyan people, the United States has assured both
President Kibaki and opposition leader Odinga that it
is willing to help in this process. End Text.

Ranneberger

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