International Justice

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ICC Indicted Presidential Candidates Discuss Alliance

Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto seek Kenyan alliance 

A recent posting on the BBC News website addresses a possible discussed alliance between two key candidates in the 2013 Kenyan Presidential Election. The two candidates, Deputy Prime Minster Uhuru Kenyatta and former minister William Ruto have both been indicted by the ICC and charged crimes against humanity in relation to orchestrating the violence that followed the elections of 2007. As the article states, “both men deny playing key roles in the violence of the 2007 poll” and intend to  follow through with their plans to run for office. While communications are still in their negotiatory stage and nothing has officially been established, this discourse between the two presidential candidates charged with crimes by the ICC could potentially result in important political ramifications both on the national and international stage. Their defiance of their charges in running for office is notable, as the people of Kenya even question if the candidates should be put on the ballot. The article discusses how a court in Kenya will convene next week to hear a petition that would potentially bar the two candidates from entering the election. Civil society groups have been especially outspoken in attempting to keep the candidates from running.

Munyori Buku, the director of communications in the Deputy Prime Minister’s office released the statement, noting that “the goal of their alliance would be ‘national unity, prosperity for all Kenyans [and] reconciliation'”. This statement contains validity in that the potential alliance between the two candidates could lead to more peace  and stability following the post-election results next year as Kenyatta and Ruto were on opposing sides during the 2007 election. However, while peace and reconciliation between all Kenyans following the 2013 elections is the ultimate goal, it must also be considered what additional hidden agendas may exist under all this rhetoric. It is especially important to frame the actions of Kenyatta and Ruto in relation to their upcoming trials in the Hague, scheduled to commence around the time of the election next year.


One response to “ICC Indicted Presidential Candidates Discuss Alliance

  1. coschaput December 2, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Following up with the above post, it was officially announced today that Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and former minister William Ruto have officially decided to run for Kenya’s President and Vice President positions in March. After much speculation, the official announcement of this decision made on Sunday at a political rally is sure to send waves through the political world. The fact that these two prominent political figures have decided to proceed with political elections despite facing numerous charges including murder and rape from the International Criminal Court sends an alarming message to the international justice community, Kenya, and the ICC especially. Going back to class discussion last Thursday, there is a cost-benefit analysis that these individuals must have weighed before decided to run for office.

    An article published by the AFP ( states that Ruto told crowds, “The journey to unite the country has started,…We have the leadership that can bring Kenyans together… to build a country based on equality.” Because Kenya is a signatory to the Rome Statue, it is assumed that will act on the ICC’s indictments. No one is sure if they will follow through with this, but if they do not it will once again force the ICC into a political position. If Kenyatta and Ruto do not show up for court while there location is publicly known, running for public office the ICC’s power and credibility will be tested in Kenya, again a signatory of the Rome Statue.

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