Tue, 16 Aug 2022

NAIROBI, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- The East African Community (EAC), a regional bloc, on Monday launched its election observer mission to monitor Kenya's Aug. 9 general elections.

Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the head of the EAC Election Observation Mission to the 2022 General Election in Kenya, told journalists in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that his team consists of 52 members drawn from key governance and independent institutions of the partner states and civil society organizations.

"As a region, we have a conviction that regional observation is critical to enhancing the credibility of the elections, reinforcing the work of domestic observer groups, and enhancing public confidence in the entire electoral process," Kikwete said.

The East African bloc comprises Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Kikwete, who is also the former president of Tanzania, said that the mission will be in Kenya from Aug. 1-12 to observe the activities for the preparations for the elections. He revealed that the observation mission will seek to assess the level of preparedness of the key electoral stakeholders for the Kenyan polls.

Kikwete said that the EAC bloc observers will also assess the level of compliance of the electoral processes and management to the international, regional and national established laws, principles and practices as well as offer objective recommendations for continuous improvement of the conduct of such elections.

The East African bloc has a standing mandate to observe general elections in her member states, said Kikwete. "Our mandate to observe elections in partner states is governed by the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community and the EAC Principles for the Observation and Evaluation of Elections."

Kenya will go to the polls next week to elect a new president and national lawmakers, as well as the governors and assemblies of its 47 counties.

The August election is set to be contested between two major political alliances -- Kenya Kwanza headed by Deputy President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja which is led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga with backing from President Uhuru Kenyatta.

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