Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

20 February 2013

Kenya: Kinana On Observer Mission to Kenya

Arusha — THE East African Community will join forces with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in having a coordinated deployment of Election Observation Mission to Kenya.

According to the head of the observer mission to Kenya, Mr Abdulrahman Kinana, the initiative is based on the need to maximize utilization of available resources, have a big pool of observers and coordinate submission of information from the observers from the field.

Kenya goes to polls on the 4th of March 2013. "This initiative facilitates a wide coverage of the Republic of Kenya, enhance the credibility of the assessment and improve the quality of the report," stated Mr Kinana, adding that it was in an effort to take advantage of the multiple memberships in regional organizations.

The EAC Mission is composed of 40 members drawn from all EAC Partner States except from the Republic of Kenya. The Mission will be coordinated by Ms Lydia Wanyoto, former Member of the East African legislative Assembly, hailing from the Republic of Uganda, reveals an official report from the Arusha-based regional secretariat.

As it happens, the membership of the Mission has been drawn from different but complementary disciplines. It includes members of the East African Legislative Assembly, National Electoral Commissions, National Human Rights Commissions, and youth representatives from EAC Youth Ambassadors Forum.

The nominations are based on the principle of gender balance and youth involvement. The Mission's mandate is to observe and consider all aspects of the electoral process, assess whether the elections are conducted according to the standards for democratic elections to which the country has committed itself.

The Team is also expected to make recommendations for future strengthening of the electoral processes and enhancing the capacity of Electoral Management Bodies in Kenya and in the whole of East Africa.

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