NAIROBI, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) — The African Union (AU) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) on Thursday launched a joint election observer mission to observe general elections in Kenya on Aug. 9.
Ernest Bai Koroma, the head of the Joint Election Observer Mission to the 2022 Kenya General Elections told journalists in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that the mission comprises 90 observers drawn from governments, member states, the pan African parliament, the civil society organizations as well as election management bodies in Africa. “The mission will demonstrate the two organizations’ joint efforts to promote peaceful, free, fair, transparent, and credible elections that will strengthen Kenya’s democratic process,” said Koroma who is also the former President of Sierra Leone.
According to the joint mission, a team of short-term observers will be deployed to various electoral areas of the country on Sunday. Koroma noted that the mandate of the joint AU-COMESA mission is to provide an impartial and independent assessment of Kenya’s electoral process in accordance with the provisions of the international standards and principles to which the two organizations have committed to. He revealed that the objectives of the mission are to assess the conduct of the elections to promote democracy and democratic elections in Africa in line with their overall vision of a peaceful, prosperous, and integrated Africa.
Marie-Pierre Lloyd, who is the deputy leader of the joint mission said that the launch of the observer mission demonstrates the importance of Kenya’s general elections which is recognized by COMESA and the AU, and the broader international community. 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.