6 October 2017

Kenya: Stop Making Unreasonable Demands, EU Tells Politicians

Photo: Barack Oduor/Daily Nation
Nasa protesters block main roads in Homa Bay town as they demand resignation of IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba.

The European Union has warned politicians against making "unreasonable demands" to the electoral agency, IEBC, ahead of polls due on October 26, and amid demonstrations from the opposition against the polls body.

The EU called on all sides to continue holding meaningful discussions with the IEBC, warning any detractions could affect the conduct of the polls.

"With only a few days remaining until the 26th October, actions and declarations against the IEBC could have an adverse effect on its ability to fulfil its Constitutional mandate," the EU said in a statement.

"Unreasonable demands, threats of boycott or attempts to change electoral regulation are to be avoided."

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The EU sided with the call by the African Union, whose Chairman Musa Faki warned the tight deadline for the repeat elections does not allow for any detractions.

The European Union is among the main sponsors of the IEBC, which together with the UNDP, the US and UK governments are currently funding a programme called the Strengthening Electoral Processes in Kenya (SEPK) worth Sh500 million until February next year.

The EU said it was closely following developments in the country, which has seen Nasa Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga threaten not to participate in elections unless some poll officials fingered for malpractice are shown the door.

"Following the Supreme Court ruling annulling the 8 August 2017 presidential election, it is crucial that all political actors respect the independence of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in the organisation of the re-run.

"All parties should seriously engage with the IEBC in a dialogue about processes and procedures, and support its work as it prepares for the new election.

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