COMESA deploys observer mission to monitor Kenya's polls

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-03 04:01:28|Editor: yan
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NAIROBI, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- Africa's largest trading bloc announced Wednesday it has deployed 15 election observers to monitor next week's general elections in Kenya.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) said in a statement issued in Nairobi that its team is led by former Zimbabwe Minister of Justice, Ambassador Dr. Simbi Mubako, the COMESA Secretariat and state nominees from Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Malawi, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

"The team will observe the various stages including vote counting and declaration of election results," the COMESA said.

The COMESA observers are scheduled to meet key electoral stakeholders including main political parties, security agencies, electoral commission, civil society, Media and the Judiciary to understand their level of preparedness as well as the political environment before the instigation of General Elections.

"Shortly after Election Day, the team will issue a preliminary statement of its findings, and later present a final report with recommendations for improvement of future electoral practices in Kenya," the bloc said.

It said the observation process will be in accordance to the stipulations of the constitution and legal framework of Kenya, as read with relevant international and regional instruments, including the COMESA Guidelines on Election Observation and Article 6(h) of the COMESA treaty that calls for "the promotion and sustenance of a democratic system of governance in each Member State".

Kenya is gearing up for national polls next week as 19.5 million registered voters elect a new President, lawmakers, county and ward representatives.

So far, foreign election observer missions are already in the East African nation to assess its preparedness to undertake credible, fair and peaceful general elections.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has assured the Kenyan public and foreign allies it had set up solid mechanisms in place to ensure the elections are free from disruptions.