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President Uhuru: Those disputing poll results should seek legal redress, avoid violence, chaos

President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked presidential election loser Raila Odinga to challenge the results at the Supreme Court.

The Head of State once again reached out to the Opposition leader and his supporters, saying he was committed to avoiding confrontation.

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President Kenyatta, however, said if the National Super Alliance (NASA) opted for protests to express their disapproval of his re-election, the Government would not interfere so long as the demonstrations were peaceful.

But he warned police would deal with violent protesters to protect lives and property. Raila will today announce the next course of action. The Opposition chief has insisted he would not file an election petition.

Exercise restraint

The President spoke at his Harambee House office after a meeting with Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang’i (Interior), Henry Rotich (Treasury), Sicily Kariuki (Public Service), Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge, Garissa Towship MP-elect Aden Duale and Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho.

During a meeting with security chiefs to assess the security situation in the country, Uhuru thanked the police for maintaining law and order throughout the electioneering period, but urged them to exercise restraint when dealing with protesters.

“I continue to appeal to those who have for one reason or another rejected the outcome of the elections. At the end of the day we are Kenyans and we don’t need to fight one another or destroy each other’s property,” he said.

He went on: “We have extended our arm and hand of peace, friendship and for them (NASA) to use whatever legal mechanisms that have been created by our wonderful constitution to express their dissatisfaction. I am sure there is no single Kenyan who wants to see violence, looting and demonstrations that end up destroying property.”

He shrugged off claims that the Government was using the police to intimidate NASA supporters.

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“The police are willing and ready to oversee the protests. You do not need my permission or Jubilee’s permission, it is there in the law. Just do it peacefully orderly and don’t interrupt the lives of other Kenyans and express your views,” he added.

But President Kenyatta warned protesters against looting, adding that those who wish to picket should inform the police before hand.

“We wish to thank the police men and women for the good work that they are doing and continue to encourage them to use restraint in exercising their duties, ” he said.

Uhuru was pleased that Kenyans had decided to report back to work and lauded them for conducting peaceful elections.

He urged those yet to resume duty to ignore calls by the Opposition to boycott work.

President Kenyatta also met members of the Assumption of Office Committee – chaired by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua – which is tasked with managing the handover of power after elections.

The committee informed the President that the swearing-in ceremony for his second five-year term would be held on August 29, barring an election petition in the Supreme Court.

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If such a petition was filed, then an alternative date of September 12 was scheduled.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, while declaring the presidential results on Friday, said Uhuru had garnered 8,203,290 votes, representing 54.27 per cent of the votes cast.

Mr Chebukati said Raila was second with 6,762,224 votes, representing 44.74 per cent of the votes cast.

“I, therefore, wish to declare Hon Uhuru Kenyatta the President-elect and Hon William Ruto as the Deputy-President-elect,” Chebukati said before handing the winners’ certificates to the two.

A total of 15,073,662 people cast their votes, a 78.91 per cent voter turnout.

The President praised the country’s athletes who bagged medals at the IAAF world championship in particular the final night performance by Hellen Obiri in the 5,000 metres race and Elijah Manangoi’s glittering show in the men’s 1,500 metres.

The team won five gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

On Sunday, Raila asked Kenyans to boycott work until the Government addresses their grievances.

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