America’s immediate outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry and Senegal’s former Prime Minister Aminata Touré have both been selected to co-lead an over 50-man team set to monitor the August 8 polls.
The observation team is the brainchild of American non-governmental organisation Carter Centers. The NGO focuses on election monitoring, conflict resolution, human rights, and public health.
Carter Centers became involved in Kenya’s elections after receiving an invitation from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEDC).
Kerry and Touré have each taken turns to comment on their selection by the Jimmy Carter-founded non-profit organisation.
In his statement, John Kerry said that the nation has seen tremenduous growth and changes since the aftermath of the 2007 elections. He noted that the responsibility of having a violent-free and fair elections in the upcoming polls rests on the shoulders of the leaders.
Kerry said; “I urge all political parties and candidates to support a fair, orderly, credible, and nonviolent electoral process; respect the electoral code of conduct; and keep faith with the Kenyan people.”
John Kerry acclaimed Kenya’s culture while expressing his anticipation towards his role in the August polls.
“Each and every time I have visited Kenya, I have been reminded of its remarkable culture, strengthened by diversity and dedicated to democratic principles. I look forward to returning later this summer to observe an important election,” he added.
Kerry’s counterpart Ms Aminata Touré expressed her hopes to see a peaceful an democratic election. She hinted that the success of Kenya’s forthcoming polls would make the nation stronger and inspire other African countries. Touré also expressed her gratitide and honour to the Carter Centers for counting her worthy of the role.
Part of her statement said; “It is my hope that the election will be peaceful and reflect the spirit of democracy that persists in Kenya. I urge all election stakeholders to act responsibly and call on their supporters to do the same.”
Both diplomats alongside the entire team would be arriving Kenya few days to the August 8 polls. Following the d-day, they would meet with other international election observation teams as well as top stakeholders in the country including political party candidates, government officials, domestic citizen observers, and civil society organisations.