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Kenya’s president urges unity after divisive election season

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, center, his wife Margaret, center-right, and Deputy President William Ruto, right, attend a ceremony to mark Jamhuri (Republic) Day at Kasarani stadium on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Brian Inganga / Associated Press)
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta, center, his wife Margaret, center-right, and Deputy President William Ruto, right, attend a ceremony to mark Jamhuri (Republic) Day at Kasarani stadium on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Brian Inganga / Associated Press)
Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is urging unity after a divisive election that was boycotted by his main opponent.

Speaking during Independence Day celebrations in the capital, Nairobi, on Tuesday, Kenyatta said the “unity of our nation is the shield against the dangers that have shattered other countries.”

He urged Kenyans to “reject the politics of divisiveness and confrontation.”

Kenyatta won with 98 percent of votes in the October election after the Supreme Court nullified the August vote over irregularities. Opposition leader Raila Odinga, whose legal challenge led to the new election, boycotted it while saying electoral reforms had not been made.

Odinga’s supporters had planned a mock “inauguration” Tuesday but it was cancelled amid pressure from the United States and others.

The opposition leader refuses to acknowledge Kenyatta’s legitimacy.

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