" --IANS"
Nairobi, Nov 1 - The European Union (EU) observer mission has called on Kenya's leaders to enter political dialogue to resolve the impasse following the controversial election re-run.

More than ever there is a need in Kenya for political leaders to take up their responsibility and find a way out of the impasse through direct talks at the highest level, the mission said on Monday in its preliminary statement on the October 26 repeat elections, Xinhua news agency reported.

Grievances over the electoral processes should be addressed through judicial channels for legally-mandated remedy. The courts and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) be given full opportunity to work independently and without undue pressure, the observers said.

EU Chief Observer Marietje Schaake said actions by rival sides have put Kenya in an extremely difficult position.

These include attacks on the judiciary as well as the IEBC, the introduction of changes to the legal framework without consensus, obstruction of the electoral process and officials, and some disproportionate actions by the security forces, Schaake said.

The EU said despite these problems, polling and counting appeared to be generally well administered and some technical improvements were evident in the results process although further assessment is still needed.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati on October 26 announced Kenyatta as the winner after he garnered 98.3 per cent of the total votes cast, against his National Super Alliance (NASA) rival Raila Odinga's 1 per cent.

Odinga, who withdrew from the race had rallied his supporters to boycott the repeat election, which was marred by low turnout and violent protests in opposition strongholds.

Schaake also called on security agencies to be fully accountable, including by providing public information on forces deployed and actions taken.

There should be independent investigation into their actions and any casualties, with information made public on subsequent measures taken, she said.

--IANS

pgh/


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