East Africa’s economic powerhouse will hold elections on Aug. 9 to select a new president, parliament, county governors and assemblies. President Uhuru Kenyatta will be stepping down after serving his constitutionally allowed 10 years.
Incoming US Ambassador to Kenya Margaret Whitman on Friday expressed confidence that the August 9th general elections will be free and fair.
Speaking when she presented her credentials to President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ambassador Whitman said Kenya will also have a peaceful transition.
“…I have no doubt Kenya will showcase for the world what free and fair election looks like and how peaceful transitions work,” the new Ambassador to Kenya said.
The shadow of the violence following disputed 2007 elections, which killed 1,200 people and displaced around 600,000, hangs over each election cycle.
Kenyatta and Ruto were among six Kenyans charged at the International Criminal Court over their alleged roles in the 2007 violence. Both denied the charges and their cases collapsed. Violence also followed the 2017 polls, when more than 100 people were killed.
EAC dispatches 15 observation teams
The East African Community (EAC) has deployed 15 election observation teams to observe Tuesday’s general elections in Kenya, the EAC said in a statement late Saturday.
the dispatch of the observation teams was flagged off by the head of the EAC election observation mission, former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Kikwete, who ruled Tanzania from 2005 to 2015, said the observers had undergone training over the past five days to enable them undertake their responsibilities as international observers and as EAC observers.
Kikwete said the 52-strong EAC observer mission drawn from the EAC member states and the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) had been deployed in 15 teams that will cover various counties in all the regions across the country.
“The main task for our observers will be to observe ongoing electoral campaigns, observe polling processes on the polling day including results management at the polling stations, and observe tallying, announcement and declaration of results,” said Kikwete.
Kenya’s two major political alliances, Kenya Kwanza (Kenya First) headed by sitting Deputy President William Ruto, and Azimio la Umoja (Resolution for Unity) led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga will compete for the top seat in the land during Tuesday’s polls