Uhuru Kenyatta, indicted for alleged crimes against humanity and the son of Kenya’s founding father, had an early lead Wednesday in the presidential election. With a little more than 40% of the vote counted, Kenyatta was ahead at 53% to 42% over his main rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, according to the election commission website. If Kenyatta wins, he will find himself in an unusual quandary. He has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for allegedly inciting a local militia to conduct reprisal attacks in the last election. His running mate, William Ruto, also faces ICC charges at The Hague. Both have denied the charges.
Kenyatta said that if he is elected, the indictment will not affect his ability to do his job. “I don’t think that’s an issue that anybody should be concerned with,” said Kenyatta, a deputy prime minister. “I have been a member of the government and I’ve still been able to execute my duties. I still believe I will be able to execute my duties as president once selected.”
The international community should respect the will of Kenyans, he said. “If they do decide it’s me, that’s a domestic issue left to the sovereign democratic will of the people of Kenya,” he said last week. “Any friend of Kenya must recognize that and must take it in their stride.”