10 August 2017

Kenya: Observer Missions to Issue Statements Today

Photo: Capital FM
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki leading the African Union Elections Observer Mission in Kenya.

At least six observer missions are today expected to issue statements on the polling process, two days after Kenyans turned out in large numbers to elect their leaders.

Teams from the East African Community, the African Union, the Carter Centre and the Washington-based National Democratic Institute are expected to release statements in Nairobi on their analysis of the process so far.

On Wednesday, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) and the African Electoral Observation Group (Elog) issued their statements, praising the conduct of the process so far.

Igad's mission head Tewolde Gebremeskel said Tuesday's polls happened in line with Kenyan laws and asked politicians to respect the outcome.

Elog, in a statement published in Kenyan dailies on Wednesday, was of a similar opinion.

"In our view the IEBC has carried out the entire process efficiently and effectively," they said. "The process was free, fair, transparent and credible."

However, some of the observers' reports have been bashed by Mr George Kegoro, the Kenya Human Rights Commission executive director. While addressing the press on Tuesday, Mr Kegoro said some observers were pronouncing themselves "on matters they know nothing about".

Mr Kegoro, who was speaking alongside other activists under the Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu initiative that raised a number of questions on the results so far by the IEBC, asked observers to "exercise caution and restraint".

"We've seen that some international observers have rushed to give a valid judgement on the election and we're saying that that judgement is completely premature. It is not based on our own assessment of the facts and as they are emerging, there are huge challenges about IEBC being accountable," said Mr Kegoro.


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