The East African Community (EAC) has deployed 15 Election Observation Teams to observe Tuesday’s General Election in the Republic of Kenya.
The Head of the EAC-Election Observation Mission headquarters in Nairobi, Dr Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, says that the observers had undergone training over the past five days to enable them to undertake their responsibilities as International Observers and as EAC Observers.
Dr Kikwete, who is also a former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, disclosed that the 52-strong EAC Observer Mission drawn from the EAC Partner States and the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) had been deployed in 15 teams that will cover various counties in all the regions across the country.
Dr Kikwete said that the EAC Observer Mission will assess the adherence to the democratic principles of the EAC as enshrined in the Treaty. He added that the mission will build on the outcomes of the Joint African Union/EAC/IGAD/COMESA pre-election assessment conducted over the last one month.
“The main task for our observers will be to observe ongoing electoral campaigns; observe polling processes on the polling day including results management at the Polling Stations; and observe tallying, announcement and declaration of results,” Dr Kikwete said.
He added that the observers are expected back at mission headquarters in Nairobi on August 10, 2022, and that the mission would then prepare a preliminary report on what it had observed during the electoral process. “The field report will enable us to prepare a Preliminary Statement, which we will release on Thursday, August 11, 2022,” he said.
He said that since the mission was launched on Monday, August 1 2022, it had engaged state and non-state actors including the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, security agencies, political parties, political coalitions, the media, political parties, civil society and religious organisation.
Dr Kikwete said that in the mission’s assessment so far, it had observed a generally calm electoral, political and security environment.
“For this, we wish to thank the political leadership, the people of Kenya and the institutions responsible for electoral processes in the country. We appeal to all Kenyans, the various political coalitions, parties and independent candidates to maintain peace and aspire for a successful and peaceful election,” he said, adding, that a peaceful and successful general election will be a win not just for Kenya but the entire East African Community.
Kenyan nationals will go to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballots in a general election that will decide who will be the country’s next president taking over from Uhuru Kenyatta. In the race are two frontrunners; deputy president William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga.