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Uhuru highlights robust observation efforts ahead of highly contested South African elections

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Former President Uhuru Kenyatta, the head of the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM), Tuesday evening highlighted the mission’s extensive engagement with critical stakeholders.

The stakeholders include, the National Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINS), South Africa’s Chief Justice, the South African Council of Churches, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), and Commissioners of the Electoral Commission of South Africa, among others.

According to a statement, President Kenyatta emphasized that these interactions have provided invaluable insights into the electoral process and have underscored the collaborative efforts to ensure a transparent and credible election. Kenyatta remarked that the upcoming elections are anticipated to be the most fiercely contested in the last thirty years, reflecting a highly competitive environment.

Despite the intense competition, he noted that the electoral process has seen significant litigation, which has been handled with commendable speed, ensuring that legal challenges do not hinder the democratic process.

The former President was speaking when he participated in a significant pre-election debriefing and peer-exchange session with the heads of International Electoral Observation Missions (IEOMs) at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, South Africa.

This session took place ahead of the nation’s National and Provincial Elections, scheduled for 29th May 2024.

During the session, Uhuru Kenyatta provided an overview of the AUEOM’s composition and summarized its key observations.

He explained that the mission consists of 65 election observers from 26 African countries, including representatives from the AU Permanent Representative Council, Pan African Parliament (PAP), Election Management Boards, Civil Society Organizations, Think Tanks, Women and Youth groups, and various technical teams.

“This session at the Birchwood Hotel not only facilitated a robust exchange of ideas and strategies among international electoral observers but also reinforced the collective commitment to supporting South Africa in conducting a peaceful and fair election, thus strengthening the democratic fabric of the nation.” Read the statement.

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