PoliticsNews & AnalysisKenya's presidential candidates and the ICC


Posted on Friday, 01 March 2013 18:52

Kenya's presidential candidates and the ICC

By The Africa Report

Uhuru Kenyatta (L) and William Ruto ® say they will negotiate ICC dates so that they can run the country on a rotational basis/Photo©ReutersKenya's two main presidential candidates, Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta say they will co-operate with the ICC. Odinga has been accused of flip-flopping on the ICC question. Kenyatta, on the other hand, could risk a weakened presidency if indicted by the ICC as a sitting president.



Dealing with the ICC - What they are saying

Odinga says he would cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC), with the aim to eventually hear the cases in Kenya.

He argues that the reason the cases were referred to The Hague was because of a fundamental mistrust of the local courts and judiciary.

This has now changed, according to Odinga, because of judicial reforms and the vetting of local judges. Kenyatta promises to cooperate with the ICC.

He and his running mate William Ruto, who also faces charges at The Hague, say they will negotiate court dates so that they can run the country on a rotational basis.

Dealing with the ICC - what they are not saying

Opponents accuse Odinga of flip-flopping on the issue and exploiting Kenyatta's case.

Odinga claims Kenyatta and his allies consistently ignored his proposal to form a credible local tribunal to hear the cases.

Kenyatta's assertion that the ICC is a private matter is unsustainable even if he has managed to avoid any domestic legal obstacles.

As Western diplomats emphasised that they will not work with an ICC-indicted president, Kenyatta's international position would be hugely weakened.

With both Kenyatta and Ruto facing trial, Charity Ngilu could become their government's main international interlocutor.

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