NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces international charges of crimes against humanity, said in an acceptance speech on Saturday after his election win that he and his team would cooperate with international institutions.
Shortly after being declared winner by securing a small margin above the 50 percent needed for outright victory, the son of Kenya’s founding president said he expected the international community to respect Kenyan sovereignty and its democratic will.
He did not directly refer to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague which has charged him with organising tribal violence that followed a disputed vote in 2007.
“We recognise and accept our international obligations and we will continue to co-operate with all nations and international institutions - in line with those obligations,” he said.
Western nations indicated before the vote that diplomatic ties with Kenya would be complicated by a Kenyatta win because of the ICC charges.
Kenyatta and his running mate, William Ruto who is also indicted by the court, have denied the charges and had said they would comply with the court even in office to clear their names.
He promised to work with Kenyans regardless of political affiliations to build the nation.
He offered thanks to defeated rival Raila Odinga, saying he fought a “spirited campaign”, but at the end of speech said Kenya did not need “us as leaders bickering”.
Odinga has said he is challenging the outcome in the courts but has called for his supporters not to resort to violence.
Writing by Edmund Blair; Editing by Richard Lough and Angus MacSwan