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UN appeals for peaceful elections in Kenya in 2012

12-15-2011 19:14 BJT

NAIROBI, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations (UN) has appealed to Kenya to conduct peaceful elections in the next general elections, which are slated for 2012.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya Aeneas Chuma said that all candidates should be willing to accept the outcome of the elections.

"We are hoping the government will put in place structures that will ensure the elections are seen to be free and fair by all parties involved so that peace prevails before and after the elections," Chuma said during the launch of the 2012 Kenya Emergency Humanitarian Response Plan on Thursday which is seeking 764 million US dollar for mitigation and adaptation against the effects of climate change next year.

"We are hoping to avoid the situation witnessed during the 2007 elections so we trust Kenyans will not resort to violence," he said.

Chuma said that the government should move in to clear out any uncertainties over the election.

"Experience all over the world has shown that when the playing field is seen to be even by all players, the results are respected by all and this avoids unnecessary conflict," the UN official said.

"We are working closely with the government to develop a system to detect any threat of violence and act behalf it occurs," Chuma who is also the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Kenya said.

He said that Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission should learn from mistakes committed by previous elections bodies and should ensure that electoral irregularities are a thing of the past.

He said one of the lessons learnt from the 2007 elections is that it is better to prevent than to respond to an outbreak of violence.

Chuma said that 2010 referendum showed that Kenyans are able to conduct peaceful elections even when there is very strong competition.

"The UN system in Kenya worked closely with government and the civil societies to carry out countrywide voter education and this played a significant role in the peaceful atmosphere that prevailed during the referendum," he said.

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Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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