4 October 2017

Kenya: UN Asks Parties Not to Skip Repeat Poll

Photo: Daily Nation
United Nations Office at Nairobi Director General Sahle-Work Zewde.

The United Nations Office at Nairobi has said only free, transparent and credible elections will enable Kenyans choose their leaders even as it urged the opposition and Jubilee leadership to participate in the October 26 fresh presidential election.

UNON Director General Sahle-Work Zewde challenged the electoral commission to ensure that the repeat election is held in line with the Constitution and the existing laws.

"The United Nations urges the parties to recommit themselves to dialogue and to seek consensus based solutions to their differences as the most appropriate means," Ms Zewde said in a statement after meeting Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials led by Chairman Wafula Chebukati on Tuesday.

REPEAT ELECTIONS

Jubilee and National Super Alliance (Nasa) have taken different stands since the nullification of the August 8 presidential elections.

Jubilee has already put in motion the process of amending the election laws currently under consideration of a joint special committee of the Senate and the National Assembly.

However, Nasa leader Mr Raila Odinga has said there will be no elections if the proposed changes on the IEBC Act, Elections Act and Election Offenses Act are passed by Parliament.

Mr Odinga is also calling for the removal from office of IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba and senior managers at the commission over their alleged role in the bungling the August 8 elections.

The UN statement noted that the responsibility for successful elections lies not just with the electoral management body but with the entire stakeholders including political parties, their supporters, civil society and voters.

HUMAN RIGHTS

The UN also welcomed the IEBC initiative to open dialogue between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Raila Odinga parties to discuss the preparations for the fresh election.

This came even as all the stakeholders were reminded of their obligations to uphold the rule of law and respect human rights, including peaceful protest and protection of life and property.

The international body further noted that respect of independence of constitutionally mandated institutions, especially the electoral commission and the Judiciary is important.

"Elections are held against national constitutions and other laws as well as international obligations and commitments. Against this background, the United Nations reaffirms its continued support to the electoral process in Kenya, in line with its values and principles including impartiality," the organization said.

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