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Raila-Uhuru talks US NGO sends urgent request to Uhuru

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Raila vowed to hold talks on fresh elections in 90 days.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy president William Ruto and NASA leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka. play President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy president William Ruto and NASA leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka. (Courtesy)

A US-based Non-Governmental organisation, Carter Centre, on Monday evening urged President-elect to hold talks with Nasa leader Raila Odinga, hours after the Supreme Court upheld the re-election of Uhuru Kenyatta.

The request to Mr Kenyatta which came few days after Nasa leader Mr Raila Odinga jetted back to Kenya form his US ten-day visit for talks which he described as ‘successful’, the lobby group quipped in a statement, would be instrumental in healing an already polarized Kenya.

"President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has a fresh mandate to lead all Kenyans, should re-initiate the national dialogue that culminated in the 2010 Constitution," the observer group said in a statement on Monday, urging the two parties to respect the unanimous decision by the Supreme Court.

play President Uhuru Kenyatta with NASA leader Raila Odinga (Courtesy)

 

The new demand, whose fate is unknown owing to the unfolding Nasa-Jubilee stalemate, comes even as Nasa leader Raila Odinga takes a break from Kenyan politics in neighbouring Tanzania’s Zanzibar Islands.

Mr Odinga left for Zanzibar on Sunday evening, hours to the Supreme Court ruling.

Earlier during the August 8 polls, the Carter Centre team, which was led by ex-US Secretary of State Mr John Kerry, said the dialogue should deal with ethnic and tribal rifts. They have, in addition, proposed that the talks come up with additional measures to address the divisions that are characteristic of Kenya’s politics.

"They (elections) are not for weakening democratic institutions and life-and-death clashes,” the team said,

It added: "We remind the Kenyan government of its obligation to protect the constitutional rights of peaceful assembly, free speech, and security of the person, to enable inclusive participation in the country’s political and dialogue processes."

play NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga addresses the inaugural rally at Uhuru Park on April 27. (Courtesy)

 

The call for dialogue also comes amid a tough stand by National Super Alliance calling for secession, citing economic marginalisation by the Government of Kennya. The coastal region, larger western, Nyanza and Kisii regions have vowed to institute a People’s Assembly, to forge a way forward in addition to seceding from Kenya mainland.

The High Court, however, quashed plans by Nasa to have the assemblies, a motion which already four county assemblies had passed.

Meanwhile, Jubilee leader and president elect Uhuru Kenyatta, who earlier in his acceptance speech after being declared president elect by Wafula Chebukati led IEBC, urged the Opposition to “exhaust all the legal avenues they have before we can engage in dialogue.”

Mr Odinga, however, has always maintained that any talks with Mr Kenyatta must be structured on the fresh elections, a contestation DP Ruto vehemently opposed. Mr Ruto warned the Opposition against having talks on power sharing.

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