Stick to facts and law in poll petition, US envoy tells Supreme Court.

The presidential election results petition filed by the opposition NASA coalition in the Supreme Court should strictly be resolved based on evidence, facts and law.

This is according to the US Ambassador to Kenya Mr. Robert Godec, who said his country has no preferred outcome of the petition.

In the petition, opposition leader Mr. Raila Odinga wants the Court to nullify the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta and order fresh polls, claiming he was not validly elected in the August 8th elections.

He said that the US interest as a country was to help in guaranteeing the right of the Kenyan people to choose leaders of their choice democratically in a free, fair and credible electoral process.

We seek only to support democracy and defend a democratic process, he told this year’s annual Law Society of Kenya (LSK) conference, which started Thursday at Leisure Lodge Resort, Diani, Kwale County.

Noting that the Supreme Court is faced with critical set of questions around the conduct of presidential election, Mr. Godec said the case must be given a full, transparent and independent review by the court.

He said the highest court in the land is the proper constitutional avenue to resolve presidential disputes.

The court and judges have crucial responsibility to protecting the law and delivering justice, which comes with obligation of judging fairly and according to the constitution and fact, the envoy added.

Commitment of judges to the rule of law is critical to instilling confidence in your democratic process. The desire for democracy fueled by a strong commitment to the rule of law has benefits too, that go far beyond the resolution of a political contests, he told the conference attended by lawyers from across the country.

Mr. Godec said that everyone must respect the rule of law, including the government, which must be accountable under the law, just like any other person.

When government is placed into the same position as the individuals with respect to the rule of law, private citizens trust leaders they choose and democratic institutions they have constructed, he noted.

He said when conflicts or controversies occur, it is the rule of law applied independently, equally and transparently, that helps to overcome challenges, no matter their magnitude.

No controversy is too big or too small to be resolved peacefully, transparently and reliably when the rule of law is applied equally. This is true to political disputes like it is happening in Kenya, Godec said.

Chief Justice Mr. David Maraga applauded LSK for persistently standing with the Judiciary and coming to its defense whenever it comes under attack from the political class.

In his speech delivered on his behalf by the President of the Court of Appeal Justice Kihara Kariuki, Mr. Maraga however acknowledged the inevitability of such attacks.

The attacks exaggerated as they may be, are not entirely unexpected. They are illustrative of a still developing democracy, and a society struggling to come to terms with limitations placed on the path of excessive authority by our constitution, he added.

Mr. Maraga also clarified that the Judiciary was not the third arm of government but one of the three arms of government with equal structures as the other two.

Source: Kenya News Agency