Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kenya’s religious leaders call for fresh polls

Kenya's Inter-religious Forum update

Last updated: 2 hours ago

Kenya’s religious leaders have come together to call for a fresh General election as the way out of the current political crisis.

The leaders, who comprised Christians, Muslims and Hindu also want all Electoral Commissioners to resign to pave way for its reconstitution.

Speaking under the auspices of the Inter-Religious Forum, the leaders reiterated their proposal to President Kibaki that wide consultations be made within the political parties regarding appointment of the commissioners to ensure the new body is credible.

“We recommend that the 2007 General Election be annulled, and new elections be held within the shortest time possible,” they said in a statement they issued at Nairobi’s Ufungamano House.

“We recognise that this proposal has immense implications but see great wisdom in taking it as the best option,” the religious leaders said.

In what they termed as Kenya’s tough choices, the leaders raised several concerns regarding the on-going Kofi Annan mediation talks.

The statement was read partly by four different representatives, including the general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) the Rev Canon Peter Karanja, Bishop Boniface Adoyo of the Evangelical Church, Fr John Young Lenssen of the Catholic Church and the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslim (Supkem) director general Abdulatif Shaban.

In their proposal to have fresh elections, the religious leaders also want the dismissal of all returning officers and the vetting of the new ones who would be recruited based on their integrity.

Canon Karanja said although religious leaders have faith in the mediation talks, they sensed a lack of goodwill from both parties.

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