Accused Kenyan presidential candidates mull alliance
Two candidates for the Kenyan presidential elections, who have been charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court are in talks over a possible alliance ahead of the vote next March, it was reported on Tuesday.
Two key Kenyan presidential hopefuls, both charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, are in negotiations for an alliance ahead of a presidential election in March 2013.
Talks between Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and ex-minister William Ruto are "going on", said Kenyatta's director of communications Munyori Buku, backpedalling on an earlier statement that a formal deal had been struck.
He clawed back an earlier statement claiming the two politicians had already "agreed on an alliance whose goals will be national unity, prosperity for all Kenyans (and) reconciliation."
Details of any deal will be unveiled at a rally on Sunday, he added.
Ruto has made no comment.
The March polls are the first since deadly post-election violence in 2007-2008, in which Kenyatta and Ruto were rivals.
Kenyatta faces five charges of crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, persecution, deportation and other inhumane acts.
Ruto faces three charges of crimes against humanity.
Both have claimed their innocence, remain free and have promised to cooperate with The Hague-based court.
Their trial, set to begin on April 10, could coincide with the elections, set for March 4, but which are potentially expected to enter a second round vote within a month.
Both are also waiting for a court hearing due Thursday on their eligibility to run in the elections.
A petition submitted by members of the public questions if the pair can run as, under a new constitution adopted in 2010, those holding public office and charged with a crime must step down.
The men are accused of having orchestrated post-election unrest in 2007-08 that killed at least 1,100 people and displaced more than 600,000.
The violence shattered Kenya's image as a beacon of stability in east Africa when the then-opposition leader Raila Odinga accused President Mwai Kibaki of rigging his way to re-election following the 2007 polls.
What began as political riots quickly turned into ethnic killings of Kenyatta's Kikuyu tribe, which launched reprisal attacks, plunging Kenya into its worst wave of violence since independence in 1963.
Two others, radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang, and ex-civil service chief Francis Muthaura, are also facing trial at the ICC.