Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle today (6 August) expressed his satisfaction with the conduct and outcome of the referendum on a new constitution in Kenya, describing it as a milestone in the country’s political development:
”I am very pleased that the people of Kenya have, in a peaceful vote, approved the new constitution by a large majority. The outcome of the referendum shows that the Kenyans are willing to join forces to address the challenges facing their country.
It also testifies to their desire to overcome the divisions of the past. This deserves our respect and further support.
Germany will give whatever assistance it can to the Kenyan Government, which is required by the new constitution to introduce additional reforms.“
According to the official results, over 67% of the 12.4 million Kenyans eligible to vote approved the new constitution. Turnout was around 71%; in all parts of the country the referendum passed off peacefully.
Germany provided substantial support for the referendum process, helping to fund the printing and distribution of the new constitution. At multilateral level, too, Germany participated in financing the referendum.
The new constitution will replace the constitution adopted in 1963 following Kenya’s proclamation of independence from Britain.