The Star (Nairobi)

4 February 2013

Kenya: EU Deploys Regional Observers

The European Union Election Observation Mission in Kenya has deployed long-term observer teams to various regions of the country. Eighteen observers were deployed yesterday in teams of two.

"Our plan is to send EU observers to every region of Kenya. We hope their work will contribute to a peaceful and transparent election," said Gillian McCormack, the deputy chief observer of the mission.

"Elections cannot be observed only from a country's capital. These observers will be our eyes and ears in the field, helping us to gather reliable information about the electoral process all around Kenya."

Of the nine observer teams, eight will be based in specific counties with a responsibility to cover other surrounding areas, while a mobile team will cover different locations from a base in Nairobi.

They will observe the different phases of the electoral process in their areas, meeting election officials, parties and candidates, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.

The teams will report back to the Core Team, a group of experts stationed in Nairobi since 19 January. At a later stage the long term observers teams will be joined by a number of short term observers, who will arrive from Europe a week before the March 4 elections.

The team will comprise up to 70 observers, with long term and short term observers arriving from 25 of the 27 EU member states, as well from Switzerland and Norway.

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