AFRICAN UNION HOPING FOR FREE, FAIR, CREDIBLE, PEACEFUL POLLS IN KENYA

NAIROBI, The African Union (AU) Election Observation Mission in Kenya to monitor the country’s general election on Tuesday has emphasized the need for peaceful elections.

The head of the observer mission and former South African president Thabo Mbeki told a media briefing here Friday that the mission was here to observe and give out findings once the elections are over.

Mbeki, who earlier met politicians, the Chief Justice and officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), said that following the consultations, he was of the impression that Kenyans want free, fair credible and peaceful elections.

However, as the representative of the AU, the mission not had a responsibility to observe the elections but was also open for any input from candidates should the mission be approached, he added. The AU has sent 90 observers from 21 African countries to Kenya and they will be deployed to 36 of Kenya’s 47 counties.

The mission is set to deploy is observers to their posts by Sunday and set Aug 9 as the date for their return to Nairobi after which they participate in a debriefing.

Meanwhile, the Kenyan Ethics and Ant-Corruption Commission (EACC) says it will deploy 60 elections observers countrywide to monitor Tuesday’s presidential, parliamentary, gubernatorial and county assembly elections.

The EACC said the observers would undertake due diligence to ensure the elections were conducted in line with internationally accepted principles of democracy and good governance. The head of the EACC team, Professor Edward Rugumayo, said they would release a preliminary report immediately after the polls closed and a final report with recommendations from various stakeholders would be compiled within two weeks after the elections.

He urged the electorate to maintain peace before and after the elections. Other observation missions in the country include those from the European Union (EU), led by Marietje Schaake, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Netherlands, and from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK