Suspect for Crimes Against Humanity Wins Kenya Election

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
March 9 2013 9:46 AM

A Man Indicted for Crimes Against Humanity Wins Kenya’s Presidential Election

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Supporters of presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta touch his picture on an election poster as they celebrate after learning of his victory in Kenya's national elections

Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images

Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first president and a man indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, was officially declared the winner of the presidential election Saturday with the slimmest of margins necessary to avoid a run-off. His victory with 50.07 percent of the vote was certified Saturday, reports the Associated Press, merely 0.07 percentage points over the threshold needed to avoid the runoff.

The announcement likely doesn’t mean the end of tension and worries about violence in Kenya since the other top contender, Raila Odinga, had already said he would not concede after a vote that some say was marred by fraud, points out the New York Times. Kenyatta’s victory also puts the West in a delicate quandary considering he was indicted by the ICC in the Hague for allegedly funding militias to conduct attacks in the 2007 election. His running mate also faces charges in the Hague, reports CNN.

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Reuters points out that when the 51-year-old takes office, Kenya will become the second African country after Sudan to have a sitting president who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court. Although the United States and others had warned a Kenyatta victory would complicate relations with Kenya, the country is widely seen as a vital ally in fighting against Islamism in the region.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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