, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28 – The Commonwealth Observer Group in Kenya on Thursday expressed confidence that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) enjoys the credibility to conduct free and fair election.
Former Botswana President Festus Mogae who chairs the group said IEBC is ready to conduct the election on Monday and urged Kenyans to support its efforts.
“We have met with IEBC Chairman and he assures us they are ready for the tasks that lie ahead and will closely follow all aspects of the process,” he asserted.
Mogae however asked the IEBC to ensure polling will start on time and also ensure a transparent voting and counting process to ensure it meets the credibility test.
“Of particular note is the need for the IEBC to ensure the timely opening of the polls, the effective management of the more complex voting process and the efficient and transparent management of the results process,” he urged.
Mogae who lauded Kenya for undertaking elaborate steps not just to prepare for the election but also ensure peace and unity during the historical election appreciated the reconciliatory efforts taken by the presidential candidates in leading Kenyans to a peaceful election.
He also singled out the recent peace rallies attended by the presidential contenders saying they exemplified to Kenyans the importance of nationhood which should be always the case even in political years.
Mogae advised the politicians to continue abiding by the code of conduct and hold the message of peace dear in their hearts as they face the competitive election.
He also commended Kenyans for passing the new Constitution and carrying forward the implementation process.
“It is to Kenya’s credit that in subsequent years some of this confidence has been re-gained, notably with regard to the judiciary and management of the electoral process. These elections are the next step and it is imperative that first and foremost political contestants engage in all phases of the process in a responsible manner,” he noted.
The 16 members of the Commonwealth Group will be deployed in 8 regions in the country to monitor how the IEBC will conduct the general election.
Some of the areas that will be covered will be Kakamega, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nyeri, Nakuru and Kitui.
“Our task as the Commonwealth Observer Group is to consider all the factors impinging on the credibility of the electoral process as a whole, and assess whether the elections have been conducted according to the standards for democratic elections to which Kenya has committed itself,” Mogae explained.