Commonwealth joins list of August 8 election observers

The Commonwealth will send a team to be among the 67 observers in the August 8 General Election accredited by the electoral body, signalling the huge global attention to the polls.

The 15-member delegation, due in Nairobi this week, is led by former Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama.


Also in the team is Electoral Commission of South Africa chair Vuma Glenton Mashinini, former National Electoral Commission of Tanzania chief, judge Damian Lubuva, and Ms Pauline Welsh, Director of Legal Affairs, Research and Development at the Electoral Commission of Jamaica.

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Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said their observers will assess the pre-electoral environment, polling, counting and tabulation as well as announcement of results.

“Observers will act impartially and will adhere to the standards of the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory,” Ms Scotland said.

The group will determine whether the elections have been conducted according to the standards to which Kenya has committed itself, including its election-related legislation and relevant regional, Commonwealth and international commitments.

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They will make recommendations for the strengthening of the electoral framework.

Also arriving this week is former US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is heading the US Observer Mission and is the co-leader of Carter Centre, as former South African President Thabo Mbeki leads the African Union team.

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