The European Union (EU) wants all Kenyan actors to recognize the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta. The European External Action Service issued a statement on Thursday following opposition leader Raila Odinga’s self-declaration as the people’s president.
Like the US, the diplomatic service and foreign and defense ministry emphasized respect for the constitution and the rule of law.
“This includes recognizing the outcome of the elections and the re-election of president Kenyatta,” said spokesperson Catherine Ray.
“It also means respect of freedoms of assembly, media and speech and implies lifting any ban on media operating within the law.”
The government shut down three major TV stations – Citizen, NTV and KTN shortly before Raila’s event at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on January 30. On Thursday, the High Court suspended the ban for 14 days while the case is heard but the channels were still off air after the directive.
Asked about the matter, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru told the BBC it was a security issue and that only the Interior Ministry could answer the question of when the stations would be able to broadcast again.
US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert earlier said they were worried about Raila’s swearing-in and called for a national conversation on the route Kenya should take.
In a statement on Thursday, the US noted: “We reject actions that undermine Kenya’s constitution and the rule of law. Uhuru Kenyatta was elected as president of the Republic of Kenya on October 26, 2017 in a poll that was upheld by Kenya’s Supreme Court.”
Mr Odinga had been sworn in as “the people’s president” in Nairobi on Tuesday, but the stunt has been blasted by members of Kenya’s governing party.
It was labelled “treasonous” by President Uhuru Kenyatta, a “serious breach of security” by the interior minister, and dismissed as “comedy show by” Deputy President William Ruto.
Mr Odinga’s self-appointed title as “the people’s president” is a reference to his belief that he was the rightful winner of last year’s presidential election.