US, GERMANY URGE KENYA NOT TO AMEND ELECTORAL LAWS JUST BEFORE FRESH PRESIDENTIAL POLL ON OCT 26

NAIROBI, The United States and German governments have expressed their opposition to moves to amend Kenya’s electoral laws saying it is not consistent with international best practice and that time is insufficient to effect such changes before the court-mandated fresh presidential election scheduled for Oct 26.

In a press statement received here over the weekend, US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert said the proposed move would increase political tension and undermine public perceptions of the integrity of the electoral process.

The US raised its concern with political actors from both sides and urged them to stop their unreasonable demands on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), adding that the US fully supported efforts to engage leaders and parties in dialogue, and urged all to participate in the fresh poll openly and in good faith.

A peaceful and transparent poll that provides all Kenyans a voice in choosing their next President will require that the electoral commission have the independence and support it needs to fulfill its Constitutional and legal obligations, said the statement.

It added that the US Government remained committed to supporting a free, fair, and credible election which is consistent with Kenya’s Constitution, current laws, and institutions. It urged Kenyan leaders and citizens to reject violence while calling on the security services to use restraint in handling demonstrations.

It said the election offered Kenya the opportunity to inspire and shape the future of Africa.

Meanwhile, the German Government has also warned against amending the electoral laws. In a statement, the German government warned that changes to the electoral laws being proposed by the ruling Jubilee party did not adhere to international best practices.

The statement also asked the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition to avoid making excessive demands to the IEBC and to allow the commission to accomplish its mandate.

NASA has threatened to boycott the Oct 26 fresh election unless their demands are met.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK