European MPs urge reconciliation in debate on polarising Kenyan polls

January 17, 2018 9:50 am
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The final report has 29 recommendations which the observers say Kenya should implement if it is to improve its election procedures/COURTESY

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 17 – Members of the European Parliament are calling on all politicians to join hands in uniting the country following divisions that occurred during the General Election last year.

According to the legislators, the country is still divided and if allowed to continue, could have a long term negative effect.

Cecilia Malmstrom, an MP, indicated that the October 26 repeat presidential election was better managed than the August 8 General Election.

“The recommendation for the re-run election already played a constructive role. In particular they helped the Kenyan Electoral Commission to make systematic changes which largely wiped out irregularities in the transmission and tallying of results,” she stated.

On the other hand Charles Tannock encouraged politicians from both divides to engage in constructive dialogue.

“No it is time for the government and opposition to engage in constructive dialogue in a reconciliation spirit. It is time for the Kenyan politicians to bring the people together and work towards an inclusive and socially cohesive society for all Kenyans. Political parties have an important responsibility in this process,” he stated.

Marietje Schaake, who was the chief observer for the European Union Election Observation Mission clashed with the Kenyan government after she released the poll report in Brussels.

While she claimed that the government had said it was not ready to receive the mission, the government said releasing the report without its input was not procedural, condescending and disdainful.

Kenya’s Ambassador to Belgium, Johnson Weru, said it was actually Schaake who had gone against the memorandum of agreement.

The final report has 29 recommendations which the observers say Kenya should implement if it is to improve its election procedures.

They include strengthening independent institutions, promoting democracy within political parties, and developing the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation into a genuine public service broadcaster with full editorial and financial independence.

The observers question a long-held requirement that people aspiring to be leaders need not be bankrupt.

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