Kenyan political team has a date with The Hague | News | DW | 02.12.2012
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Kenyan political team has a date with The Hague

Two politicians accused of atrocities by The Hague have announced they will run for office together in Kenya. NGOs fear a repeat of the carnage that followed the disputed vote in 2007, where more than 1,000 people died.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured), the son of the country's founding father, will run for president with former Education Minister William Ruto as his deputy, the duo announced at a rally outside of the capital, Nairobi. The election is in March but the two men will stand trial at the International Criminal Court in April.

They are accused of orchestrating the ethnic fighting that followed the country's last presidential election, in 2007. Both deny the charges against them - which include rape, murder and forced deportation - but have said they are willing to cooperate with The Hague-based tribunal.

"We are willing to work with all, but we also demand our respect as citizens of this republic," Kenyatta told the crowd on Sunday. "We as Kenyans have gone through very difficult and trying times, but we ourselves also have the solution to our problems. Give our people the freedom and the right to choose their elected representatives."

A nongovernmental organization known as the International Center for Peace and Conflict filed suit on Friday at the Kenyan High Court challenging Ruto and Kenyatta's suitability for elective office, given their cases at the Hague. The suit was filed after a similar case against the two was withdrawn (pictured above).

Should voters find the duo unsavory, dozens of other candidates are competing for the presidency of East Africa's biggest economy, including the current prime minister, Raila Odinga. Kenyans typically vote along tribal lines, and elections have historically resulted in violence.

mkg/hc (Reuters, AP, dpa)