Africa, Europe

EU downsizes election observation mission to Kenya

EU observation mission calls for delay of presidential election re-run, citing 'extreme tension'

Ekip  | 24.10.2017 - Update : 25.10.2017
EU downsizes election observation mission to Kenya


By Andrew Wasike 


The EU election observation mission sent to Kenya late on Tuesday announced that it is downsizing their monitoring team due to the disruption of Kenya’s electoral body training exercises, tension, and criticism on the international community.

Kenyans are set to take part in a presidential-election re-run on Thursday. 

In a statement, the EU mission has called for a delay of the election, saying: "We have assessed the safety of our observers considering the extreme tension, disruptions of polling preparations, and strong criticism that has been made of the international community.”

“Based on this, we have had to reconsider the extent to which we can observe across the country, therefore, the mission will have a reduced number of observers. Rather than giving a comprehensive assessment of election day and tallying, the mission will focus its observation on systemic issues, including results transmission and the availability of results forms.”

Just after Kenya’s top court annulled the Aug. 8 presidential election win for President Uhuru Kenyatta, citing mass illegalities and irregularities, Kenyans directed their anger at international observation missions sent to Kenya that had in unison termed the elections as free, fair and credible despite the opposition crying foul.

Kenyatta’s main opponent, Raila Odinga, has said he had withdrawn from the race because Kenya’s electoral body has not been replaced.

On Wednesday morning, Kenya's Supreme Court will hear a petition demanding the cancellation of the re-run.

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