Former Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding
NAIROBI – Commonwealth observer mission in Kenya chairperson has called for commitment to a peaceful electoral process.
Former Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding said just as politicians have made a commitment to a peaceful election, they are urging stakeholders, including the electorate, to commit to doing the same, consistent with the Commonwealth’s values and principles.
“We know how important elections are in a democracy; they empower the people to choose representatives who will, in turn, make decisions on their behalf,” Golding said.
He has replaced former Botswana President of Festus Mogae, who withdrew from the mission due to “unforeseen circumstances”.
The 20-member team will be deployed across the country to observe the whole process.
The statement issued on Wednesday said the group has been selected from across the Commonwealth at the request the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
“We, therefore, hope our presence in Kenya serves as a reminder that the people of the Commonwealth stand together with Kenyans as they exercise their democratic rights, recognising how important these elections are to the people of Kenya, East Africa, Africa, and the whole of the Commonwealth at large,” Golding said in the statement.
An advance team has been on the ground since 16 July to observe preparations ahead of the polls and campaigns.
“They will now update the main group about their meetings with stakeholders and their preliminary findings, which will be pivotal for the team’s work and subsequent observation role and report,” the statement added.
The mission then from August 7 be deployed in small teams to selected counties to observe electoral preparations including the opening of polls, voting, closing, counting and the results management processes.
They will issue their interim statement of preliminary findings on August 11.