By Beth Nyaga/KNA
A team of European Union election observers has arrived in the country ready to monitor the forthcoming general elections.
At least 15 teams have been deployed to 13 locations around the country to observe all aspects of the electoral process.
The counties include Kiambu, Laikipia, Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Vihiga, Nyeri, Machakos and Mombasa among other counties.
The Mission’s Deputy Chief Observer Hannah Roberts, said that her team will be following the campaigns and meeting election officials and stakeholders up to and beyond elections day and sending their feedbacks back to their team of experts based in Nairobi.
Roberts said that they are in the country following the invitation by the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission and will be assessing all aspects of the electoral process including the legal framework, the election administration, and voter registration and candidate nomination.
Others include respect for fundamental freedom, access to and conduct of the media, voting and the counting and transmission of results.
“The mission will remain beyond elections day to observe the complaints and petition process with the team expected to be reinforced on the 7th July by 32 short term observers, a delegation of seven members of the European Parliament and representatives of EU embassies,” said Roberts.
A delegation of the European Parliament and Kenya-based diplomats from EU Member States will also reinforce the mission on election day.
At the request of the Kenyan authorities, the deployment of an EU EOM aims to contribute to enhancing the transparency of the election process, the respect for fundamental freedoms and will submit to the consideration of the authorities a set of recommendations to further improve the election framework for future elections.
The EU supports African efforts to strengthen the democratization process across the continent.
Former EU EOM recommendations have played a role in promoting political dialogue and the consolidation of democracy in Kenya.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, appointed Marietje Schaake Member of the European Parliament, as Chief Observer.