UN warns against Kenya poll boycott, urges cooperation

October 4, 2017 1:13 pm
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Sahle-Work Zewde, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi/COURTESY

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 4 – The Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), Sahle-Work Zewde, has warned against any boycott of the October 26 fresh presidential election.

Zewde, who met the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Tuesday, urged the National Super Alliance (NASA) and Jubilee to cooperate with the Commission as it readies for the poll as that is the only way through which the electorate can exercise their civic right of selecting a leader of their choice.

“Free, transparent and credible elections are the only democratic ways to enable Kenyans to choose their leaders. The United Nations, therefore, strongly encourages Jubilee Party, NASA and the electorate to participate in the planned election on 26 October 2017,” read a dispatch from UNON Information Centre Director Nasser Ega-Musa, attributed to Zewde.

She commended the electoral commission’s efforts in readying for the repeat presidential elections particularly lauding steps taken to engage the Jubilee and NASA presidential candidates on the preparations for this month’s presidential election.

“The UN in Kenya encouraged the Commission to create the most favourable conditions for the holding of a free, transparent and credible election,” the statement read in part.

“The United Nations urges the parties to recommit themselves to dialogue and to seek consensus-based solutions to their differences as the most appropriate means to pave the way for a free, transparent and credible election in conformity with the Constitution and existing electoral laws,” it further stated.

The statement noted that the participation of stakeholders including the civil society and voters at large would contribute to a great extent to making the repeat poll a success.

UNON further appealed to the political class to respect the independence of the Judiciary and the electoral body in order to ensure that the institutions are able to carry out their respective mandates as provided for in the Constitution.

On protests, the UN urged all stakeholders in the electoral process including security agencies to uphold the rule of law and respect human rights including the right to peaceful protest but also protection of life and property.

The agency reiterated its commitment to continue supporting the electoral process in the country.

Zewde’s meeting with IEBC preceded two meetings in which the Commission separately met NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, as well as Deputy President William Ruto (Jubilee) and briefed them on preparations for the October 26 poll.

IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati also had an opportunity to address concerns by NASA on the conduct of the fresh poll.

He told the press on Tuesday evening that all the issues raised as “irreducible minimums” by NASA had been exhaustively addressed promising to make available to the public a written response on the same on Wednesday.

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