Planning Meeting ahead of Deployment of the EAC Election Observer Missions in Kenya and Rwanda underway in Nairobi
East African Community Secretariat; Nairobi, Kenya; 20 June 2017:
A four-day planning meeting ahead of deployment of the EAC Election Observer Missions in the Kenya General Elections and Rwanda Presidential Elections due in August 2017, is underway in Nairobi, Kenya.
The meeting is being attended by officials from the National Human Rights Commissions, National Independent Electoral Commissions, Offices of the Registrar of Political Parties, and Ministries in charge of EAC Affairs in the Partner States of the United Republic of Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda, and South Sudan.
Addressing participants at the opening session, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge noted that this was the first time the Community was engaging in two Election Observer Missions at the same time in two Partner States within a period of ten days. “That means we will need to double our efforts and level of preparations”, said the EAC official, adding that getting involved in Electoral Observation in the region is in fulfilment of the EAC Treaty objectives on democratization.
He said the upcoming elections in the Republics of Kenya and Rwanda were the last in the 2010-2020 Electoral Calendar and that the next General Election in the region will take place in 2020.
Mr. Njoroge disclosed that the upcoming Missions will be characterized by a slight departure from the traditional Mission composition as for the first time since EAC commenced Election Observations; the Community will not have the much-needed regional political dimension traditionally offered by members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) because the 4th EALA is not yet constituted.
“Additionally, we will be welcoming on board the Republic of South Sudan who are to take part in the Missions for the first time. As we deliberate we will look at ways of ensuring that the absence of the EALA does not in any way impair the quality of the observation mission and the subsequent Report”, assured the Deputy Secretary General.
In the next four days, participants will be able to share information on election observation as a democratic benchmark, prepare for Election Observation in the Republics of Kenya and Rwanda including discussing the deployment plans and insight into the Kenyan Electoral Landscape.
Participants will also be able to engage with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya. Consultation with the Rwanda National Electoral Commission will take place at a later date.
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Notes to Editor:
Pursuant to the provisions of Articles 123, 6 (d) and 3 (3) (b) of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, the EAC will be deploying Electoral Observers to the Presidential Elections to be held in the Republic of Rwanda on 4th August 2017 and the General Elections to be held in the Republic of Kenya on 8th August 2017.
The Observer Missions headed by Eminent Persons from the EAC Region and comprised of nominees from the EAC Partner States facilitated by the Secretariat will undertake the exercise in line with guidelines contained in the EAC Principles on Electoral Observation and Evaluation, which heralded the institutionalization of Election Observation in the EAC Partner States.
The EAC has previously fielded Election Observer Missions to Elections in the Republic Kenya 2013, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of Burundi 2005, 2010, 2015, The United Republic of Tanzania 2015, the Repeat Elections in Zanzibar 2016, and the Republic of Uganda 2016, among others.
The deployment of the Short-Term Observation Mission will be preceded by Pre-Election Monitoring Missions whose remit will be to look at the playing field based on a number of variables. The length of both Missions will thus be 14th July to 12th August 2017 for the Republic of Kenya and 9th July to 7th August 2017 for the Republic of Rwanda.
For more information, please contact:
Mr Owora Richard Othieno
Head, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
Tel: +255 784 835021
Email: OOthieno [at] eachq.org
About the East African Community Secretariat:
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of five Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
East African Community
EAC Close, Afrika Mashariki Road
P.O. Box 1096
United Republic of Tanzania
Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac [at] eachq.org