Post ruling, Kenya president says ready for fresh polls


Kenya's president on Friday took exception with a court ruling nullifying his reelection last month, but added he would respect the decision and was ready for new polls.

"It is important for us as Kenyans to be respecters of the rule of law. I personally disagree with the ruling that has been made today, but I respect it as much as I disagree with it," Uhuru Kenyatta said in a televised address on the landmark Supreme Court decision, which calls for fresh elections within 60 days.

Kenyatta urged Kenyans to keep the peace, adding that his party is ready to again make the case to voters that it deserves another term.

Separately, opposition leader Raila Odinga hailed the "very historic" ruling, saying, "For the first time in the history of democratization a ruling has been made by a court nullifying the irregular election of a president."

Speaking to reporters in Nairobi, Wafula Chebukati, who chairs Kenya's electoral body, also welcomed the ruling, adding that those found guilty of election malpractice should be prosecuted.

U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec and British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey, among other envoys, also praised the ruling.

"Kenya's electoral institutions must now begin preparing for a new presidential poll later this year and we urge everyone to work to make it free, fair, credible and peaceful. The Court's independent review has demonstrated Kenya's resilient democracy and commitment to the rule of law, we have trust in the ability of Kenya and its citizens to do so," said a press statement released hours after the ruling, signed by Godec, Hailey, and 22 other envoys, including ones from the EU, Germany, Denmark, and Switzerland.

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