EAC Short Term Election Observer Mission to the 26th October Repeat Presidential Election in Kenya Launched
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 23rd October 2017:
The East African Community Short Term Election Observation Mission to Kenya’s 26th October Presidential Election has been launched in Nairobi, Kenya.
Launching the exercise this morning, the Head of the Mission, Hon. Prof. Edward B. Rugumayo commended the people of Kenya for being an example in the region on the promotion of the rule of law through use of judicial processes to address electoral disputes, respect for governance institutions and an open space for political competition and contestation so far exhibited.
The Head of the Mission noted that the forthcoming Presidential Election in Kenya was unique and the first of its kind in the region where a Presidential Election is repeated as a result of Court decision.
He urged the EAC Observers to remain focused to their role and professionalism as they undertake the mission and ensure thorough exercise of due diligence in thier tasks and positive discretion in making judgements on the situation on the ground.
“By its very nature it is expected that this election carries with it a heavy sense of emotion and anxiety among the difference stakeholders and therefore no wonder that tension and elements of violence is being reported in some parts of the country”, asserted the Head of Mission.
He therefore urged the EAC Observers to be cautious of the emotions in regards to the personal and collective conducts and always remember that as International Observers, their mandates and limits were well stipulated by the International Election Observation Standards, as well as the EAC Principles for Elections Observation and Evaluation.
The Mission Leader was optimistic that the whole process will be peaceful and successful and will forever remain a reference point of best practice in electioneering in the EAC region and beyond. He wished the Kenyan people peaceful, free and fair elections as they exercise their rights to choose the Leader of their choice.
At the same occasion, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge, reiterated that the Kenya democracy was advancing and the adherence to the rule of law and democratic principles and respect of Institutions was growing in the same measure.
He said Kenyans will go back to the polls on 26th October 2017 to elect the President in fulfilment of the requirements of the very laws governing democratic dispensation on elections.
The EAC official said nullification by the Supreme Court of Kenya of the outcome of the Presidential election of 8th August 2017 is a testimony to the operational independence the Constitution of Kenya grants to the Organs of governance, which is an important example in the region on the promotion of the rule of law through use of judicial processes to address disputes of all kinds.
“The repeat elections are thus a sacrifice Kenyans have to bear in promotion of democracy, access to justice and rule of law”, affirmed the EAC Deputy Secretary General.
Notes to Editors
The Observation Mission is partly a continuation of the August 2017 mission that was deployed to observe the General Elections in Kenya. It is also partly a result of developments that took place after the declaration of the Presidential Election result of August 2017 where the Supreme Court of Kenya annulled the same results.
As the EAC commitment to fulfil the obligation of enhancing democratic principles as enshrined in the Articles 3 (3)(c) and 123 6(d) of the Treaty, the Community is deploying again to observe this presidential election in accordance with the EAC Principles for Elections Observation and Evaluation and Council decision.
The Mission comprises over 60 members, drawn from Electoral Management Bodies, National Legislative Assemblies, members of the Former East African Legislative Assembly, National Human Rights Commissions, Civil Society, EAC Youth Ambassadors and the EAC Secretariat. The Mission will be deployed in most of the Constituencies in the Republic of Kenya.
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About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.