Protestant churches have said leaders facing crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC) will have a difficult time running government from The Hague.
The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) said Wednesday it was more difficult for Jubilee Coalition leaders Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto to run a government hundreds of kilometres away compared to the vicinity of State House, Nairobi.
However, NCCK said the eight presidential candidates were exercising their democratic right to contest in the March 4 General Election.
"It will not be easy running a government while away as compared to from State House, but we ask Kenyans to exercise their discretion and vote as they want," said NCCK Secretary General Rev Canon Peter Karanja after a two-day meeting at the Jumuia Conference and Retreat Centre in Limuru.
“We ask for the law to be followed as we await the court ruling, which we shall agree with,” he said.
Rev Karanja was referring to Friday's High Court ruling on a case challenging the eligibility of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto to vie for elective office.
The church leaders' meeting discussed the importance of peace and a free and fair election.
Present were the NCCK chairperson Rev Canon Rosemary Mbogoh, deputy secretary Oliver Kisaka and Zion Harvest Mission Bishop Nicolas Oloo.
The council also condemned the criticism directed at diplomats for stating their countries position on the elections.
"NCCK appreciates the interests of the foreign missions, European Union and African Union, because they helped us when the country went haywire and it is not fair to ridicule them,” he said.
The church leaders said the international community must put pressure on Kenyans to have a peaceful election, but not dictate which presidential candidate to elect.
The leaders asked young men to refrain from violence and desist from being incited by politicians.
“In the last election, leaders called for mass action and were later unable to control the young men. Let them not do this again."
NCCK promised to mobilise church members to vote on March 4, and participate in voter education to ensure Kenyans are prepared for the elections.
The leaders asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to make sure it delivers a free and fair election.
Such an election would result to losers accepting defeat and dissatisfied candidates seeking relief in the courts, they said.