Minister for Africa Says he is Concerned about Political Situation in Kenya

Rory Stewart, the Minister of State for International Development and Minister of State for Africa at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, has said that he is concerned about the current political situation in Kenya. Along with the United States and other countries, the UK has concerns that the forthcoming Presidential elections will not be held in a peaceful and democratic manner.

In a statement, the Minister said:

“The UK is concerned by the increasingly unstable political situation in Kenya in advance of the new presidential election on 26 October. An open, peaceful and credible poll is the only constitutional way Kenyans can choose their next President. Along with international partners, the UK is continuing to provide support to Kenya’s institutions, including the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). We welcome steps the IEBC is taking to rectify flaws in the August election, as well as recent efforts by the IEBC and political parties to engage in dialogue.

Neither threats to boycott the election nor changes to the electoral legislation at this stage are helpful. Both sides need to work with the IEBC cooperatively and in a spirit of dialogue as it sets out arrangements for the new elections.

We encourage a peaceful and non-violent election period. Security services should use the utmost restraint in handling demonstrations, and any response must be proportionate and measured. We urge independent investigations into all allegations of abuse of force.

This election is an important moment for Kenyan and African democracy. We stand together with all Kenyans at this critical time”.