EU observer mission calls for peaceful elections in Kenya

NAIROBI, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) — The European Union (EU) election observer mission in Kenya on Saturday renewed call for peaceful, free and fair national polls on Aug. 8 in order to enhance stability, cohesion and economic growth in the East African nation.

Marietje Schaake, the Chief Observer and Member of EU Parliament from the Netherlands said that Kenya will boost its democratic credentials, diplomatic and economic clout if it conducts credible and transparent polls next Tuesday.

“It is important that Kenya sustain its democratic ideals that are enshrined in the new constitution by holding free and fair elections. This is an important election for Kenya and we hope the outcomes will not affect peaceful coexistence in the country,” Schaake remarked.

She spoke to reporters in Nairobi during the deployment of 32 short-term observers from the EU to different parts of Kenya to assess overall election preparedness.

The EU has since late June dispatched election observer teams to different Kenyan counties to monitor campaigns and technical capacity of the electoral body to conduct free and transparent national polls.

Schaake said the bloc has assembled a competent and impartial team of observers that will later issue a comprehensive report on whether Kenyan elections met a critical threshold.

She disclosed that a delegation from European Parliament will arrive in Kenya on Saturday to join the observer team and local staff in monitoring the voting exercise.

“We have been following the flow of events in Kenya and will use rigorous and impartial methodologies to come up with preliminary findings that will be made public two days after elections,” Schaake said.

She noted that Kenya has solid institutions to facilitate peaceful and transparent polls but urged aspirants and political parties to engage in sober debate to avoid a disruption on civil order.

“Candidates should urge their supporters to respect the election outcomes and gracefully concede defeat in case of loss,” Schaake remarked adding that a robust constitution that has entrenched inclusivity in Kenya will be a safeguard against election-related skirmishes.