NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) to Kenya is urging various State agencies responsible for poll preparedness to play their part in ensuring the August General Election is free and fair to avert possible violence.
EU-EOM Chief Observer Marietje Schaake told a news briefing on Monday that there are growing concerns over election preparedness, and have already voiced concerns to responsible actors.
“It is no secret there are concerns about the possible outbreak of violence. This is not inevitable, and it is clear that this would create a situation where everyone loses. There is a responsibility for each and every one to grant each other the right and safety to vote according to his or her conscience.”
“This responsibility grows in proportion to the influence different actors have over the course of these 2017 elections,” Schaake stated.
Schaake who arrived in the country on Thursday said she had already held separate meeting with representatives and candidates of the political parties and coalitions, of the government, the IEBC, various civil society representatives as well as the EU Mission with the goal of getting an inclusive perspective from all angles.
The EU Parliamentarian said her team is happy with the preparations that are in place for the August polls and is keen to ensure that Kenyans participate in an exercise that is all-inclusive, fair and credible.
“It is our responsibility to make an honest and impartial assessment of the integrity of the process, and the extent to which people’s political rights are upheld,” she said.
The EU will be deploying one of its “biggest missions ever” to monitor the upcoming election in Kenya.
The team including an intial ‘Core Team’ of 10 analysts which has been in the country since April meanwhile another set of 30 long-term observers were last Thursday dispatched to different parts of Kenya to follow the electoral preparations
The last batch of 32 short term observers alongside Seven Members of the European Parliament are expected in the country as the country nears the election.
Schaake said her team is happy with the preparations that are in place for the August polls and is keen to ensure that Kenyans participate in an exercise that is all-inclusive, fair and credible.
Our findings will first be presented in a preliminary statement that we expect to present a few days after the elections. Our team will then stay on in Kenya to also monitor the results and appeals as part of the process,” she told a news conference.