Kenya president sworn in after months-long election turmoil

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Kenya president sworn in after months-long election turmoil
Kenya president sworn in after months-long election turmoil

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term Tuesday in what some hoped would be the end of months of election turmoil, which Kenyatta said stretched the country “almost to the breaking point.” But violence continued, with at least one person killed as police fired rifles and tear gas to break up an opposition gathering.

During and after Kenyatta’s inauguration, police elsewhere in the capital, Nairobi, tried to stop the opposition from holding peaceful demonstrations to mourn dozens killed by police and militia since the original election in August. A witness said one person was shot dead, and opposition leader Raila Odinga was shoved into his vehicle amid clouds of tear gas shortly after he called Kenyatta’s presidency illegitimate.

Kenyatta, speaking to a cheering crowd at a local stadium, said the past few months “have been a trying time,” and he called for an end to hate and divisiveness. He again criticized the Supreme Court’s nullification of his August election win, saying that “despite … being told that the processes matter more than your vote, we complied.”

But he added that the court, whose justices he once called “crooks” for their ruling, acted with independence, and he said the recent events show that “our constitution is no piece of paper.” Institutions should not be destroyed whenever they don’t deliver the desired results, he added.

Kenya’s election drama has meant months of uncertainty in East Africa’s economic hub. The court in nullifying the August result cited irregularities after a legal challenge by opposition leader Raila Odinga, and it ordered a new vote.

It was the first time in Africa that a court had nullified a presidential election, and Kenya’s events have been closely watched cross the continent by opposition parties and leaders alike.

Odinga and his supporters boycotted the repeat election last month, saying electoral reforms had not been made. Many opposition supporters on Tuesday were heeding Odinga’s call to gather and remember those killed in the months of turmoil.

Human rights groups have repeatedly accused police of being used by Kenyatta’s government to crush dissent.

Odinga has called Kenyatta’s inauguration a “coronation” instead, and he called Kenyatta a dictator and vowed to pursue fresh elections.

Kenyatta said his inauguration “marks the end, and I repeat the end, of our electoral process.” He praised the resilience of Kenyans during what he said were the 123 days since the turmoil began.

Several regional heads of state attended the inauguration amid tight security as the country attempted to move forward, even as questions about electoral reforms lingered.

In a move to improve continental ties, Kenyatta announced that all Africans will be able to obtain a visa on arrival at a port of entry. A growing number of African nations are making moves toward easing travel restrictions for people across the continent.

Kenyatta was sworn in using a Bible that had been used to swear in his father, founding President Jomo Kenyatta, at independence in 1963. His rivalry with Odinga, the son of Kenya’s first vice president, has gone on for years.

Supporters in the stand attend the presidential inauguration at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta engage in rock-throwing clashes with police at his inauguration ceremony after trying to storm through gates to get in and being tear-gassed, at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta engage in rock-throwing clashes with police at his inauguration ceremony after trying to storm through gates to get in and being tear-gassed, at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Opposition supporters react near the body of a man allegedly killed by a stray bullet fired by police, during clashes in the Jacaranda grounds quarter in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term Tuesday in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate what they hoped would be the end of months of election turmoil, which Kenyatta said stretched the country “almost to the breaking point.” (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta waves to his supporters as he arrives for his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov.28, 2017. Kenyatta has been sworn into office for a second term in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate the apparent end of months of election turmoil. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta waves from behind bulletproof glass as he arrives for his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
President elect Uhuru Kenyatta, waves to his supporters as he arrives at Moi International Sports Complex in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta has been sworn into office for a second term in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate the apparent end of months of election turmoil. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim)
The crowd cheer as Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, center-left on the screen, accompanied by his wife Margaret, center, and Deputy President William Ruto, center-right, appears on a video screen during his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta engage in rock-throwing clashes with police at his inauguration ceremony after trying to storm through gates to get in and being tear-gassed, at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta stands behind bulletproof glass as he arrives for his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
An opposition supporter holds a bullet near the body of a man allegedly killed by police fire during clashes in the Jacaranda grounds quarter in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term Tuesday in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate what they hoped would be the end of months of election turmoil, which Kenyatta said stretched the country “almost to the breaking point.” (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
Opposition supporters react near the body of a man allegedly killed by a stray bullet fired by police during clashes in the Jacaranda grounds quarter in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term Tuesday in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate what they hoped would be the end of months of election turmoil, which Kenyatta said stretched the country “almost to the breaking point.” (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
An opposition supporter gestures at a barricade during clashes with police in the Jacaranda grounds quarter in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term Tuesday in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate what they hoped would be the end of months of election turmoil, which Kenyatta said stretched the country “almost to the breaking point.” (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
Supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta try to storm through gates and over roofs to get in after they engaged in rock-throwing and were tear-gassed by police at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A woman who fell begs for mercy during clashes between rock-throwing supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta and police at his inauguration ceremony after they tried to storm through gates to get in and were tear-gassed, at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Supporters cheer in the stands as President Uhuru Kenyatta is sworn-in during his presidential inauguration at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim)
A policeman stands next to supporters of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta lying unconscious after being beaten by police when they tried to storm through gates to get in during Kenyatta’s inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Supporters of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta storm through gates to get in after they engaged in rock-throwing and were tear-gassed and beaten by police, during his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tu.esday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
An opposition supporter reacts at a barricade during clashes with police in the Jacaranda grounds quarter in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. As Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate what they hoped would be the end of months of election turmoil, police fired guns and tear gas in other parts of the capital to stop the opposition from holding demonstrations to mourn dozens killed by police and militia since August. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
Supporters of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta engage in rock-throwing clashes with police during his inauguration ceremony after trying to storm through gates to get in and being tear-gassed, at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, center, is sworn-in, accompanied by his wife Margaret, center-right, at his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Police stand by an abandoned mask of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta after his supporters engaged in rock-throwing clashes with police during his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Supporters cheer in the stands, seen through confetti, as Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is sworn-in during his presidential inauguration at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A policeman runs past an abandoned mask of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta after his supporters engaged in rock-throwing clashes with police during his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
President elect Uhuru Kenyatta signs the certificates of oath during his inauguration, at Moi International Sports Complex, in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, watched by his wife Margaret, right and the Chief Registrar of the Supreme court Anne Amadi, second left. Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term Tuesday in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate what they hoped would be the end of months of election turmoil, which Kenyatta said stretched the country “almost to the breaking point.” (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim)
Surrounded by security personnel Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta waves to his supporters as he arrives at Moi International Sports Complex in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov.28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim)
Opposition supporters run during clashes with police in the Jacaranda grounds quarter in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term Tuesday in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate what they hoped would be the end of months of election turmoil, which Kenyatta said stretched the country “almost to the breaking point.” (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, center, inspects the guard of honour during his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
A supporter holds a painting of President Uhuru Kenyatta as he attends the presidential inauguration at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Supporters cheer in the stands as President Uhuru Kenyatta is sworn-in during his presidential inauguration at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Police run during clashes with opposition supporters in the Jacaranda grounds quarter in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. As Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate what they hoped would be the end of months of election turmoil, police fired guns and tear gas in other parts of the capital to stop the opposition from holding demonstrations to mourn dozens killed by police and militia since August. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
The crowd watch as Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, center, and Deputy President William Ruto, center-right, appear on a video screen during Kenyatta’s inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
An opposition supporter hurls a stone during clashes with police in the Jacaranda grounds quarter in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. As Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in for a second term in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate what they hoped would be the end of months of election turmoil, police fired guns and tear gas in other parts of the capital to stop the opposition from holding demonstrations to mourn dozens killed by police and militia since August. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta waves from behind bulletproof glass as he arrives for his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, center, is sworn-in accompanied by his wife Margaret, right, and during his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. The Supreme court judge David Maraga is on the left, and Chief Registrar of the Supreme court Anne Amadi is second left. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta waves from behind bulletproof glass as he arrives for his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Supporters in the stand attend the presidential inauguration at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, center, is sworn-in accompanied by his wife Margaret, center-right, during his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Kenyan President elect Uhuru Kenyatta, left, inspects guard of honour after arriving for his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta has been sworn into office for a second term in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate the apparent end of months of election turmoil. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim)
Kenyan President elect Uhuru Kenyatta, inspects guard of honour after arriving for his inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta has been sworn into office for a second term in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate the apparent end of months of election turmoil. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim)
Supporters in the stand wear t-shirts showing President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, and Deputy President William Ruto as they attend the presidential inauguration at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Supporters in the stand attend the presidential inauguration at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Supporters in the stand attend the presidential inauguration at Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Supporters of Jubilee Party celebrate during the inauguration ceremony of Uhuru Kenyatta his second term as president of Kenya at Moi International Sports Complex in Nairobi, Kenya Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta is being sworn in on Tuesday, ending a months-long election drama that saw the first vote nullified by the country’s top court and the second boycotted by the opposition. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim)
Supporters of Jubilee Party celebrate during the Inauguration Ceremony of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta his second term as president of the Republic of Kenya at Moi International Sports Complex in Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017. Kenyatta has been sworn into office for a second term in front of tens of thousands who gathered to celebrate the apparent end of months of election turmoil. (AP Photo/Sayyid Abdul Azim)
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