Kenyan activist in bid to ban EU, US observers

February 13, 2013 9:02 pm

, PETER-OLE-MOSITETNAIROBI, Feb 13 – An activist asked a Nairobi court on Wednesday to compel Kenya’s polls body not to accredit European or US election observers for the March 4 presidential elections, accusing them of bias.

The activist, Samson Owimba Ojiayo, wants the High Court to issue an order directing Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) not to accept representatives from the European Union or United States, saying that they have already taken a stand on the vote.

“It is clear from the position taken by these countries that they will not be impartial in monitoring the election,” Ojiayo’s lawyer told the courtroom.

The court certified the matter as urgent and the case is to be heard on Monday.

Kenya’s foreign minister has accused European diplomats of trying to influence the presidential elections, where a key candidate faces trial for crimes against humanity.

But the EU has denied issuing threats of sanctions against Kenya should one of the presidential candidates, ICC suspect Uhuru Kenyatta, and his running mate William Ruto take power.

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Ongeri on Monday accused foreign diplomats of attempting to interfere with the electoral process in Kenya and questioned the involvement of the EU commission observation group, which was accredited by the IEBC.

Kenya is less than three weeks from a presidential election, the first since the bloody 2007-08 poll chaos that left more than 1,100 people dead and hundreds of thousand displaced.


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