The Commonwealth election observer mission in Kenya headed by ex-Ghanaian president, John Dramani Mahama on Thursday renewed call for peaceful national polls on August 8 amid heated campaign rhetoric.
Speaking to reporters in Nairobi, Mahama said the upcoming Kenyan polls will have a huge ramification in the region and across the world hence the need to conduct them in a transparent and peaceful manner.
“This is a watershed election in Kenya and its successful completion will reaffirm the country’s status as a mature democracy,” Mahama remarked, adding the commonwealth observer mission will remain impartial during the voting exercise.
The former president of Ghana is leading a 15 member election observer mission in Kenya that is composed of eminent persons from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and Pacific regions.
He revealed that observers will be deployed across the country on August 5 to assess general preparedness by the electoral body to conduct smooth election of a new president, lawmakers, county and ward executives.
Mahama added the observers will closely monitor the entire voting, tallying and results transmission process on August 8 and issue an interim statement on their preliminary findings two days later.
“A final report will be prepared and submitted to the Commonwealth Secretary General and subsequently shared with relevant stakeholders and the public,” Mahama told journalists.
The Commonwealth will rally behind efforts to boost peaceful political transition in Kenya during the upcoming polls.
Mahama said the bloc has faith in the ability of Kenya’s electoral body to carry out credible polls amid doubts from some quarters.
“Our technical team has been assessing Kenya’s preparedness to hold fair elections and key stakeholders are confident the exercise will be successful. I believe the electoral system in Kenya has improved,” said Mahama.
He added that key stakeholders in the electoral process that include political parties, civil society and private sector have rallied behind a call for free, credible and peaceful polls.
“As the campaign nears completion, I would wish the people of Kenya, those seeking election, poll officials, to make the process democratic,” said Mahama.
He disclosed the Commonwealth election observer mission in Kenya will depart the country on Aug. 14. Enditem