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EU deploys observation mission ahead of August polls

The European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission to the country ahead of the August 9 general election.

Joseph Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and vice president of the European Commission Jappointed Ivan Stefanec will lead the mission.

Stefanec, who will be the chief observer of the mission, is a member of the European Parliament.

The EU previously deployed observation missions to Kenya for the 2002, 2007, 2013 and 2017 general elections.

The EU EOM Core Team, which consists of 12 election experts, arrived in Nairobi on June 27.

According to the EU, 48 long-term observers are set to join the mission to follow the electoral campaigns and election starting July 9.

Forty-eight short-term observers will join the mission around 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 strengthen the mission during election day.

I’m honoured to have been entrusted with the responsibility of leading this EU Election Observation Mission and will be looking forward to engaging with representatives of state institutions, political parties and candidates, civil society organisations, media and others that are playing important roles in the ongoing electoral process,” Stevanec said.

Borrell said the election will be crucial for citizens to determine the future, for stakeholders to showcase their commitment to democracy with fair competition among candidates in peaceful elections and the region at large to promote stability.

“The EU welcomes the invitation by the Kenyan government to observe these elections. The EU and Kenya share an important and strong relationship and I’m looking forward to the further concretisation of the EU-Kenya strategic dialogue that I have launched during my visit to Nairobi in January 2022,” he said.

Following the EU election observation methodology, the mission will issue a preliminary statement and hold a press conference in Nairobi after the elections.

Thereafter, they will present and share a final report with stakeholders which will include a set of recommendations for future electoral processes.

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