September 24th 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

Chief European election observer launches EU's mission for August poll

Last week, the EU EOM deployed 30 long-term observers to different parts of Kenya to follow the electoral preparations and campaign. These observers come from the different Member States of the EU and also Norway and Switzerland.

By Cynthia Gitaucgitau@kenyafreepress.comMonday, 03 Jul 2017 17:51 EAT

President Uhuru and DP Ruto with Ms Schaake who was accompanied by the EOM Deputy Chief Observer, Ms Hannah Roberts, and EU Ambassador to Kenya, Stephano Dejak, at State House, Nairobi.

Marietje Schaake, Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Kenya 2017 and Member of the European Parliament from the Netherlands, officially launched the EU’s mission today. The EU EOM is in Kenya at the invitation of the Kenyan authorities to conduct a neutral and independent observation of the 2017 elections. 

"We are here with a team of experienced long-term and short-term observers to assess the election process. The integrity of the process, as well as trust in it, are vital to people in Kenya,” she said.

Last week, the EU EOM deployed 30 long-term observers to different parts of Kenya to follow the electoral preparations and campaign. These observers come from the different Member States of the EU and also Norway and Switzerland. They will stay in Kenya beyond election day. A series of meetings with people from all parts of Kenyan society and leadership are foreseen, including political leaders, the IEBC, journalists and a variety of civil society organizations. 

“We hope our mission will support Kenya’s long-term democratic growth and fulfilment of the right of people all over Kenya to electoral participation," Schaake added.

The EU EOM will assess the general elections according to Kenya’s national law and the international commitments it has made regarding elections. The mission will look at the reality across the country and will make recommendations on how to improve elections in the future. It will focus on the entire electoral process, including the legal framework, electoral administration, voter registration, nominations, campaigning, the conduct of the media, voting and the counting, the tally of results and dispute resolution mechanisms.

A core team of nine experts arrived in Nairobi on 14 June. Closer to election day the core team and the 30 long-term observers will be joined by 32 short-term observers, 7 Members of the European Parliament, and a number of representatives of EU Member State embassies based in Nairobi, bringing the mission’s likely total strength to around 100.  

All EU EOM observers are bound by a code of conduct, which requires strict neutrality and non-interference. The EU EOM undertakes its work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation. It will publish its initial findings in a preliminary statement, which Ms Schaake will present in a press conference shortly after election day. A final report, with the recommendations, will be published some two months later.

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