Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 19:44 EAT
At the invitation of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), The Carter Center, a U.S.-based NGO led by former president Jimmy Carter, has launched an international election observation mission for Kenya's August 8 general elections. The Center has been accredited by the IEBC to observe the presidential, parliamentary, county governor, and county assembly ward elections.
According to a statement provided by the Center, its core team of experts established a presence in Nairobi on April 14 and deployed 12 long-term observers to locations across Kenya the following week. It will deploy an additional 32 short-term observers in the lead-up to the polls.
The mission will make a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process for compliance with national law and international election standards by observing the campaign environment; the candidate nomination process; the voter registration and verification processes; the political participation of women, youth, and persons with disabilities; the administration of the elections; voting-day procedures; and the counting and tabulation of ballots.
Members of the mission will hold regular meetings with key stakeholders, including political party candidates, civil society organizations, domestic citizen election observers, members of the international community, and representatives of the electoral commission and other institutions charged with supporting the electoral process.
“I am honored that the Center has been welcomed to return to Kenya to observe this year’s elections,” said Field Office Director Don Bisson. “The Carter Center staff and I are pleased to continue working with the Kenyan people, electoral institutions, and political leaders to advance the country’s process of democratization.”
In the closing days of the party primaries, the Center has noted isolated incidents of violence in some areas of the country.
“The Center urges all political parties and other electoral stakeholders to refrain from violence going forward and for parties to call on their supporters to abide by the electoral code of conduct,” said Bisson.
The Carter Center observed Kenya’s 2013 election and found that the government largely met its commitment to a democratic election, though it noted concerns about the electoral commission’s management of the election.
The Carter Center conducts election observation missions in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct that and has been endorsed by 50 election observation groups.