The EAC on August 1 announced the appointment of Tanzania’s former president Jakaya Kikwete to lead its observer group for Kenya’s upcoming general election.
The 50-member Group will be in Kenya from today August 1-12, at the invitation of the country’s Electoral Commission to assess the level of preparedness of the key electoral stakeholders and the level of compliance with the electoral processes.
Kikwete on Monday said theobserver team is drawn from key governance and independent institutions of the partner states and civil society organisations.
“Our mandate to observe elections in partner states is governed by the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community and the EAC Principles for the Observation and Evaluation of Elections,” Kikwete said at the Serena Hotel, Nairobi. He was flanked by EAC secretary general Peter Mathuki.
Kikwete said during the period in Kenya, the team will observe the remaining activities of the elections as well as assess the level of compliance of the electoral processes and management to the international, regional and national established laws, principles and practices; and look at the adherence to the democratic principles of the EAC as enshrined in the Treaty.
The mission will offer objective recommendations for continuous improvement in the conduct of such elections, he said.
Kikwete said he will announce the findings of the mission through an interim statement on August 11.
“As a region, we have a conviction that regional observation is critical to enhancing the credibility of the elections, reinforcing the work of domestic observer groups and enhancing public confidence in the entire electoral process,” he said.
Article 6 of the EAC Treaty on Fundamental Principles of the Community requires member states to uphold “good governance, including adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law, accountability and transparency, among other values by the provisions of the African Charter on Human and People’s rights.”
It is on this backdrop Kikwete said the mission is in Kenya to strengthen the region’s governance and enhance the culture of democracy as a fundamental principle of the EAC.
On June 28, the African Union Commission announced it was deploying an international election expert mission to Kenya comprising eight core teams.
In a statement, the African Union said the deployment is part of its comprehensive and long-term engagement in the 2022 general elections in Kenya.
“The core team experts will follow up on the electoral preparations, assess the political dynamics and genuine competitiveness and fairness of the electoral campaign, and maintain regular contact with national and international stakeholders before, during and after the elections,” the statement said.
There will be long-term observers, who have already been deployed and short-term observers, who were expected to arrive a week before Election Day.
The EU has also deployed its observer mission.
Ivan Stefanec, a member of the European Parliament for Slovakia, will lead the mission.
The European Union EOM Core Team, which consists of 12 election experts, arrived in Nairobi on June 27.
According to the EU, 48 long-term observers were to join the mission to follow the electoral campaigns and elections starting July 9.
Additionally, 48 short-term observers will join the mission on Election Day to observe the polling, voting and counting.
Other short-term observers recruited from the EU diplomatic community, as well as Canada, Norway and Switzerland will also strengthen the mission during Election Day.