Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement today (3 March) on tomorrow’s presidential election in Kenya:
The election in Kenya is a historic occasion. This is the first ballot to be held under the new constitution. It is the first election in which the candidates have discussed their political ideas in front of millions of viewers in two televised debates. It lies with Kenya to make this election a success.
I trust that everything possible will be done to make sure the election is peaceful, free and conducted in an entirely lawful manner. This would constitute a major step forward, not only for Kenya but for the entire region.
Alongside the first round of the presidential election, Kenyans will tomorrow be electing Governors, MPs and county politicians. Kenya’s last presidential election was followed by major unrest which killed more than 1000 people.
Mediation efforts by former UN Secretary‑General Kofi Annan resulted in government by a grand coalition. A case to investigate the unrest is pending before the International Criminal Court. A new constitution was adopted in 2010 to decentralize political authority and restrict the powers of the President.
Kenya is the biggest economy in East Africa.