8 October 2012

Africa: Annan, Mkapa Arrive for Election Conference

The Judiciary became the first government institution to get a clean bill of health from the Panel of Eminent African Personalities. The chairman of ... ( Resource: Former UN Chief Applauds Kenyan Judiciary Reforms )

Chief mediator Kofi Annan will arrive in the country today "to give support and encouragement to the people of Kenya ahead of next year's general election" the Koffi Annan foundation has said.

The statement said Annan and Tanzania former President Benjamin Mkapa will visit Kenya from October 8 to 11, in their capacities as members of the African Union Panel of Eminent African Personalities.

"The objective of the visit by Annan and Mkapa is to give support and encouragement to the Kenyan people and the country's institutions as Kenya prepares for an important transition in 2013."

The two are scheduled to meet top governmental officials, independent and constitutional commissions and major stakeholder groups, including business leaders, civil society, religious leaders, media and the international community.

Annan and the panel that he led played a key role towards reconciliation efforts and restoration of peace following the disputed 2007 election results which led to the death of over 1,500 people and another half a million displaced.

It's not clear whether the former secretary general of the UN will meet coalition principals President Kibaki and PM Raila. He will conclude his tour on Thursday when he will address a press conference expected to take place at the Serena hotel.

Annan will meet the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission which is set to begin the registration of voters next month.

Last month, Annan sent a statement emphasising on the need to hold peaceful polls saying next year Kenya will face one of the most important elections in its history which only comes after the 50 anniversary of self-rule adding; "the Kenyan people will go to the ballot box to make choices that will shape the destiny of their country."

He argued that experience has shown that to ensure democracy and its many benefits, elections must be conducted with integrity, which means a process that ensures political equality, transparency and accountability.

"To achieve this, we need to strengthen the rule of law, and the institutions and norms of multi-party competition, so that elections enable society to structure and resolve conflict non-violently," he added.

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