US concerned over Kenya political state

The United States has expressed concern over the political environment in the country ahead of the repeat presidential poll scheduled for October 26.

In a statement to newsroom last evening, the US also criticised the spirited campaign by political players seeking to undermine the efforts of the electoral commission to conduct a free, fair and credible poll.

“Unfortunately, in recent weeks actors on all sides have undermined the electoral commission and stoked tensions. We are closely monitoring Kenya’s electoral process and what politicians are saying and doing,” read part of the statement by US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert.

ATTACKS

The US said while it supports freedom of speech, “baseless attacks and unreasonable demands on the electoral commission are divisive.”

“We fully support the commissions efforts to engage leaders and parties in dialogue, and urge all to participate openly, seriously and in good faith,” read the statement.

The US in its communication was categorical that they support a free, fair and credible poll under the current law and institutions.

The tough talk by the US comes just a day after two parliamentary committee on the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill.

The contentious bill sponsored by the Jubilee Party seeks to reduce the powers of the electoral commission chairman and entrench the manual system of transmitting results.

DIPLOMATS

The proposed law also seeks to make it possible for the vice chairman of the IEBC to act as the chairman in the absence of the substantive chairman.

On Monday, diplomats led by were critical of the attempts to make changes to electoral laws just days to the repeat poll.

The US maintained this stand Friday stating that changing electoral laws without broad agreement just prior to a poll is not consistent with international best practice, will increase political tension and undermine public perceptions on the integrity of the electoral process.

“A peaceful and transparent poll that provides all Kenyans a voice in choosing their next President will require that the electoral commission have the independence and support it needs to fulfill its Constitutional and legal obligations,” further read the statement.

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