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 CNS Story:

KENYA-NJUE Mar-29-2013 (220 words) With photos. xxxi

Cardinal urges Kenyans to accept court verdict on election

By Walter Cheruiyot
Catholic News Service

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) -- Nairobi Cardinal John Njue urged Kenyans to maintain peace as the Supreme Court decides on the nation's disputed presidential election.

He also urged Kenyans to accept the court verdict, expected March 30.

Speaking during a Mass at Holy Family Basilica March 28, the cardinal said no matter what the verdict, the country must remain united. He encouraged peace during the Easter season.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga filed a petition with the Supreme Court to challenge election results after his opponent, Uhuru Kenyatta, was declared the winner in the first round of elections March 4.

All the members of Parliament and the senators elected were sworn in, but the president was not, pending the court verdict.

"I urge you to remain peaceful and united during this festive season. We must remain as one family of God's people," Cardinal Njue said. "People should not be pessimistic about the ruling."

Kenyatta and Deputy President-elect William Ruto were accused in connection with post-electoral violence in Kenya after 2007 election. The two are facing charges at the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

The ethnic violence in late 2007 and early 2008 resulted in more than 1,000 deaths and left large areas of Kenya in ruins. The disputed election led to a power-sharing agreement between Kenya's two major political parties and a new constitution.

END


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