The final teams of worldwide observers are arriving in Kenya within the closing two weeks for the August 9 election, as political candidates bid for votes within the vote that can see a brand new president elected.
Speaking in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on Friday, Ellen Dingani, head of the African Union Observatory mission to Kenya, mentioned this yr’s elections are extremely contested and that the involvement of diplomatic missions will assist preserve peace throughout and after the polls.
The AU Commission has dispatched a global election professional mission to Kenya consisting of consultants from eight core groups. The delegation is tasked with following up on the election preparations, assessing political dynamics and actual competitiveness, and sustaining ongoing contact with nationwide and worldwide stakeholders earlier than, throughout and after the elections.
“We have brought these stakeholders to understand the steps Kenyan agencies are taking to mitigate particular risks ahead of the general election,” Dingani mentioned throughout a panel dialogue with representatives of presidency businesses concerned within the electoral course of.
“As the African Union, we have diplomatic missions in Kenya who will watch over this election. This is a highly contested election and we will work with all parties involved to ensure that there is a peaceful election.”
The AU mentioned it’ll ship its closing workforce of observers per week earlier than the polls to bolster the advance occasion that arrived late final month. The AU mission consists of delegates from the Common Market for East and South Africa, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the East African Community.
Preparation for elections
The European Union has additionally deployed 48 long-term observers to 39 counties in Kenya in preparation for the parliamentary elections in August.
During the launch of the EU observer mission on July 16, Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, mentioned the mission is the fifth commentary mission to Kenya since 2002.
“The upcoming general election in Kenya will be crucial for citizens to decide what future lies ahead for electoral stakeholders to demonstrate their commitment to democracy, with fair competition among candidates in peaceful elections and for the region as a whole to promote stability,” Borrell mentioned.
An even bigger workforce of election observers from native civil society organizations has additionally been on the bottom for for much longer. Kenya has a longtime custom of normal and aggressive elections and constitutional time period limits.
The August referendum might be the fifth presidential election because the introduction of multi-party politics in 1991. Incumbent Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga are the important presidential candidates within the four-candidate race.
Uhuru Kenyatta, the incumbent president who’s nearing the top of his second five-year time period, is constitutionally barred from looking for one other time period.