EU ELECTION OBSERVERS ARRIVE IN KENYA FOR AUG 8 POLL

NAIROBI, A team of European Union (EU) election observers has arrived in Kenya to monitor the country’s general election set for Aug 8.

At least 15 teams from the EU Electoral Observer Mission (EOM) have been deployed to 13 locations around the country to observe all aspects of the electoral process. The counties include Kiambu, Laikipia, Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Vihiga, Nyeri, Machakos and Mombasa.

The Mission’s Deputy Chief Observer, Hannah Roberts, said here Tuesday that the observers will be following the campaigns and meeting election officials and stakeholders up to and beyond Polling Day and sending their feedback to their team of experts based in Nairobi.

Roberts added that the the EU electoral observer mission was in the country at the invitation of Kenya’s Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and would be assessing all aspects of the electoral process, including the legal framework, the election administration, and voter registration and candidate nomination.

Other aspects include respect for fundamental freedom, access to and conduct of the media, voting and the counting and transmission of results.

The mission will remain beyond Election Day to observe the complaints and petition process with the team expected to be reinforced on July 7 by 32 short-term observers, a delegation of seven members of the European Parliament and representatives of embassies of EU member States, said Roberts.

At the request of the Kenyan authorities, the deployment of an EU EOM aims to contribute to enhancing the transparency of the election process, the respect for fundamental freedoms and will submit to the consideration of the authorities a set of recommendations to further improve the election framework for future elections.

The EU supports African efforts to strengthen the democratization process across the continent. Former EU EOM recommendations have played a role in promoting political dialogue and the consolidation of democracy in Kenya.

Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, has appointed Marietje Schaake, a member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer for the Kenyan general election.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK