Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday ruled out the possibility of the country holding fresh elections in 90 days as demanded by opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Mr Ruto, in an interview with international news network Al Jazeera, said while the ruling coalition is open for dialogue with Mr Odinga on “other matters,” which he did not explain, the question of fresh elections would not, in any way, feature were such talks to happen.
“Our position on the matter is that Kenya is a constitutional democracy,” he said. “We respect the rule of law. Every situation has been provided for under the Constitution, and Mr Odinga’s call for fresh elections within 90 days is not constitutional.”
No person, however important or popular, can change the provisions of the Constitution, The DP declared, adding that Kenya is not “an animal farm where some people are more equal than others”.
“The Constitution clearly provides that re-runs of elections should be held within 60 days. We are prepared to have dialogue with Mr Odinga, but on other matters, not what has been decided by the supreme will of the people through the ballot.”
He had, in an earlier interview with the TV news agency, dismissed last week’s repeat polls as a sham, insisting that majority of Kenyans did not participate in it.
“Basically, it is Uhuru and Kenyatta competing,” said Mr Odinga. Adding: “At some point, he was also competing against the voter turnout! Only 3.5 million Kenyans turned out to vote, but he has already scored 7.2 million votes. This, basically, adds to what is described as a sham.”
He, like Mr Ruto, indicated that his political coalition is willing to dialogue with the government to end the current political impasse, but on issues that will ensure a level playing field for repeat polls in 90 days.
Mr Ruto, commenting on the credibility of the October 26 elections, was emphatic that 7.6 million people turned out to vote, to the dismay of the opposition, which had asked Kenyans to boycott the exercise.
“In the August 8 elections, 78 per cent of Kenyans turned out to cast their vote, while 40 per cent participated in the repeat polls last week. It is only 1.8 million people who did not vote because of violence sponsored by Mr Odinga,” the DP told Al Jazeera.
“He organised a militia and directed them to stop Kenyans from accessing polling stations. They also stopped electoral commission officials from not only accessing the polling stations, but also ferrying voting materials. He, in short, prevented citizens from voting,” said Mr Ruto.
The electoral commission cancelled repeat elections in Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori counties due to security concerns.
At the same time, the Deputy President has asked Mr Odinga to stop threatening Kenyans with violence.
Mr Ruto said the opposition chose not to participate in the election on their own volition and other peace-loving Kenyans have nothing to do with it.
The Deputy President said the Constitution was very clear on issues concerning elections.
He added that Kenyans who participated in the October 26 election cannot be disenfranchised by one person’s quest for power.
Mr Ruto said: “Mr Odinga chose out of will not to participate in the elections. Kenyans had nothing to do with that decision. He should stop threatening peace in the country.”
The DP was speaking in an interview with various media outlets in Karen on Sunday.
Mr Ruto said since Mr Odinga had failed to marshal support in other parts of the country he had decided to export violence in other counties like Nairobi and Bungoma.
He said: “Since there was only one region where violence was being experienced the NASA leader has his agents are attempting to export the same mayhem to other regions”.
The Deputy President said Government will protect life and property of Kenyans from the marauding NASA goons.
Mr Ruto said: “Those found breaking the law irrespective of their status in society will be punished”.
Ruto said President Uhuru’s win was legitimate as the constitution states to be elected President you have to garner 50 pecent plus one plus 24 counties of the forty seven
He said: “We have already surpassed that threshold. That means that in terms of the constitution, the legitimacy question is already answered.”
He said it was incorrect for Mr. Odinga to say that 3.5 million voters turned out adding 7.5 million voters turned out.
Mr Ruto said: “Of course he wants to peddle a narrative that suits his political narrative. There is a percentage of voters that was denied a chance to vote. I challenge our opponent to remove the organised militia blocking the delivery of voting material and we will know for sure if those affected want to vote or not.”
Mf Ruto said it was time the opposition familiarized itself with its position and let the majority of Kenyans engage with their daily lives
The Deputy President said for almost a year the country had been stake on politics which had slowed downed economic development
He said after the August election the unwarranted riots had affected many business and investments.
He said: “Kenyans have witnessed very little business and investment since August 8th.We need lives of Kenyans to return to normalcy”.
Mr Ruto said the country cannot be in a state of perpetual politics. He said: “This cycle must now come to an end.”