Nairobi, Kenya, Aug 4 – The United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has called for peaceful and transparent elections in Kenya next week on Tuesday.
Blinken said in a statement Wednesday that the countrywide exercise will give Kenyans an opportunity to “showcase their democracy to the world as they make their voices heard in their elections.”
“We urge a peaceful and transparent democratic process, which is critical to delivering a more prosperous and secure future for all Kenyans,” Blinken said on his official Twitter account.
Kenya is among the United States’ key strategic partners in the Horn of Africa, particularly in trade, peace, and security.
As the eyes of the world turn to Kenya, different organizations have deployed election monitors in the country to oversee the polls that will be conducted in 47 counties.
The exercise will take place in 46,229 polling stations across the country.
The European Union Election Observation Mission to Kenya recently announced that it will deploy 180 monitors in 39 counties.
On July 16, The Mission’s Chief Observer Ivan Štefánek said the team will include 48 short-term observers who will arrive in the county shortly before the election day on August 9.
“This reflects the EU’s established election observation methodology which is based on long-term approach and focuses on the entire electoral process,” the Chief Observer said.
Štefánek also said the Observer Mission will include a Technology Analyst who will assess the electoral commission’s technology, specifically the Kenya Integrated Election Management System, and media monitors who will examine media coverage on a wide range of platforms including traditional, social and vernacular channels.
Former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete will head the 52-member East African Community (EAC) election observation mission to Kenya while the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) named former Ethiopian President Dr Mulatu Teshome the head of its election observer mission to Kenya.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Thursday revealed that at least 18, 000 local and international election observers will monitor next Tuesday’s high-stake general election.
IEBC revealed that already it has processed the clearance of 10, 000 observers.
“As a Commission, we have the duty and responsibility to ensure that observation missions are part of our electoral process. It is indeed our constitutional requirement,” Chebukati said adding that the application of the remaining 8, 000 observers will be cleared before Election Day.
Chebukati revealed that close to 1, 300 international observers will monitor the polls while the rest are local.
“We have more observers than the number of candidates who are participating in this year’s election,” Chebukati said.
The General Election will see Kenyans elect their preferred leaders including the President, Governors, Senators, Members of the National Assembly, Women representatives as well as Ward Representatives.
The elections will mark the end of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s leadership with a successor likely to be inaugurated in September.