By Andrew Wasike
Diplomats at top foreign missions in Kenya on Monday united to urge the government and opposition to embrace dialogue on the eve of the controversial Oct. 26 repeat presidential elections.
Reading out a joint statement on behalf of the diplomats, U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec urged Kenyan politicians to shun any tribal violence ahead of the polls, a re-run of invalidated August elections, although the opposition under former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga have vowed to boycott this week’s polls.
Godec was leading 20 envoys from 20 Western countries, including 28 European countries calling for political rivals to unite to allow a credible election to take place on Thursday.
“Kenyans -- and particularly Kenya’s politicians -- should be careful not to destroy things built over years of hard work and sacrifice,” he said.
“It would be a profoundly undemocratic act to try to interfere through intimidation or violence with the holding of an election under Kenya’s Constitution, and we’ve called on the side that is doing that to stop.”
Separately, Odinga vowed in a statement that on Thursday he will lead the “mother of all protests” against Kenya’s electoral body to disrupt the election.
He said protests against the election authority will resume on Tuesday and continue “until all the necessary changes shall have been realized and free and fair elections held.”
The August elections were annulled by Kenya's Supreme Court over evidence of irregularities, but last week Kenya's electoral authority said it could not guarantee free and fair elections in the re-run polls/