Pretoria’s silence on Kenya puzzling, says DA

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for the Presidency to break its silence over the ongoing fracas in Kenya. Pretoria’s silence on the democratic implosion in Kenya is puzzling, the DA’s Tony Leon said in a statement.

”An upfront reiteration by the South African Presidency that it will not countenance ballot rigging and improper retention of power would be both appropriate and timeous,” he said. However, there is some merit in awaiting Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s report on Kenya.

He said the DA has welcomed the involvement of the United States secretary of state, the French government and European Union election observers in Kenya. ”But far more relevant and appropriate would be a stronger profile and lead from the South African government on a matter of importance to this continent, its citizens and its projection in the wider world.”

Kenya is the most recent cautionary tale of how the illusion of stability and democracy can be shattered when an election process is severely compromised and ethnic tensions are inflamed, said Leon.

President Mwai Kibaki’s contested victory in Kenya’s presidential election has resulted in more than a quarter-million people being displaced and the death of at least 500 Kenyans.

Leon said the unseemly haste with which the election result in Kenya was declared and Kibaki installed did the African continent no favours.

”It is a negation of the African renaissance promise of free elections and undisputed outcomes and the peaceful transference of presidential power. It also undermines the promise and the premises of the Nepad [New Partnership for Africa’s Development] programme,” he said. — Sapa

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