Tuesday, March 12, 2013

China salutes Uhuru for election victory

PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI The spokesman of the embassy of the People's Republic of China Shifan Wu addresses journalists in Nairobi on March 10, 2013.

PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI The spokesman of the embassy of the People's Republic of China Shifan Wu addresses journalists in Nairobi on March 10, 2013. The government of China has congratulated Mr Uhuru Kenyatta for being elected president.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MACHEL AMOS in Juba AND AFP

China on Monday congratulated Mr Uhuru Kenyatta for being elected president.

“China congratulates Mr Kenyatta on being elected president of Kenya,” Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.

“We also congratulate Kenya for holding the election peacefully and successfully.”

Mr Kenyatta is the first person facing trial at the International Criminal Court to have won a presidential election. He has been indicted over widespread violence that followed the 2007 polls.

In the latest elections, he clinched a first round victory over his main rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who said he would challenge the results in court.

“We would like to strengthen cooperation with the new Government of Kenya and bring bilateral friendly relations to a higher level,” said Ms Hua at a briefing in Beijing.

South Sudan has praised Kenya’s peaceful election and congratulated Mr Kenyatta for his victory.

A statement from the Foreign Affairs ministry says South Sudan has been wishing “to see the will of the Kenyan people expressed freely and fairly”.

“South Sudan congratulates Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto, of the Jubilee coalition on their successful election as declared by Kenya’s election commission on Saturday. The people of South Sudan wish the Kenyan people the best,” says the statement.

South Sudan, Kenya’s north-eastern neighbour, which depends on imports from East Africa, was concerned that the economies of both nations could have been adversely affected if violence such as the one in 2007/08 had erupted.

At the same time, France on Monday joined the list of Western nations that have congratulated Kenyans for holding a peaceful election.

In a press statement, France also called on all aggrieved parties to resolve their disputes through legal mechanisms. “France wishes to continue its cooperation with the new Kenyan Government,” says the statement.

Additional reporting by Abiud Ochieng’

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