, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Visiting US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman has called for an early announcement of the next General Election.
Addressing a press conference in Nairobi on Friday morning, Sherman said fixing the date early was necessary for the country to prepare for the first election under the new Constitution.
“The decision on the date of elections is of course up to Kenyans, we have urged that the date be set as soon as possible so that all the mechanics of the elections are put in place,” she asserted.
Sherman emphasised on the need for Kenya to facilitate ample time for registration of voters and identity cards as well as time to conduct civic education that will empower Kenyans with information about the election.
Kenya is for the first time in history going to vote for Senators, County Governors, women representatives, county representatives and youth representatives unlike before where they voted for the president, a Member of Parliament and councilor.
Sherman pledged America’s support for Kenya to ensure free, fair and democratic elections, as she praised the country for its commitment to boosting governance.
Sherman, who took up her position last September, also expressed confidence that Kenya was committed to delivery of justice for the 2008 post election violence and other human rights violations.
“Kenyans do not want to return to violence, Kenyans want a peaceful process and are working very hard to put the mechanics in place; that is very promising,” she commented.
She encouraged Kenyans to sustain the reform agenda and deal with any challenges coming in the way saying it is normal to encounter such shortcomings even in developed countries.
“Kenyans are very committed to the constitutional reform and the political process. Kenyans have made a commitment to their own future, you can’t ask for anything more from the citizens. There will be ups and downs, we still have bumps and problems issues,” she advised, “we have to address every single day to perfect our democracy.”
Sherman who is on a nine-day Africa tour has visited Nigeria, Angola, Malawi and Zambia.
During her two days in Kenya she will meet various leaders to discuss issues on governance, economic growth and regional security.
Earlier on Friday, she met women leaders whom she discussed with various issues including achievements and concerns that women have in Kenya have.