AU deploys election observers to Kenya ahead of polls
Johannesburg - The African Union (AU) has deployed election observers to Kenya ahead of polls in that country.
"Following the invitation by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and government of the republic of Kenya, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, has deployed the AU Elections Observation Mission (AUEOM) to the Republic of Kenya to observe the General Elections scheduled for 8 August 2017," the AU said in a statement on Tuesday.
The AUEOM, which is led by former South Africa president, Thabo Mbeki, has a mandate to observe the 2017 General Elections in conformity with the relevant provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, which entered into force on 15 February 2012.
The observation mission comprises of 90 Short Term Observers (STOs) and 14 Long Term Observers (LTOs) drawn from the Pan-African Parliament, African Ambassadors to the AU in Addis Ababa, election management bodies, and civil society organisations, Think tanks and the academia from African countries.
The LTOs are deployed from 3 July – 26 August 2017 while the STOs are deployed from 28 July – 14 August 2017. As part of its activities, the AUEOM will meet with stakeholders in Kenya, including political parties and CSOs. The observers will be deployed throughout the country to observe the pre-election, Election Day and post-election activities.
"Observations and recommendations of the AUEOM will be based on the credibility, transparency, fairness and the effective organisation of the elections. After the elections, the AUEOM will release its preliminary statement during a press conference in Nairobi, Kenya," said the AU.
In an unexpected development on Monday, reports circulated that the man in charge of Kenya's electronic voting system, who had been reported as missing, was found dead with one hand severed.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati told reporters outside the mortuary on Monday that their IT Director Christopher Msando's body had evidence of torture.
Kenyans go to presidential polls in just over a week on 8 August to choose between incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and the opposition leader Raila Odinga.African News Agency