EAC to deploy Election Observer Missions to the forthcoming Rwanda and Kenya Elections
East African Community Secretariat; Arusha, Tanzania; 27 July 2017:
The East African Community is dispatching Election Observer Missions to the Presidential Elections in the Republic of Rwanda scheduled to take place on 4th August 2017, and to the General Elections in the Republic of Kenya, due to take place on 8th August 2017.
The Missions in the two Partner States are being undertaken in two phases; the Long Term Observer Mission/or Pre Election Mission (PEMi); and the Short Term Election Observer Mission. The EAC Long Term Observer Mission/or Pre Election Mission (PEMi) arrived in Rwanda and Kenya respectively on 16th July 2017 and will depart on 14th August 2017. The Short Term Election Observer Mission arrived in Rwanda on Wednesday 26th July and will depart on 7th August, while for Kenya, it will arrive on 30th July and depart on 11th August 2017.
In line with the Guiding Policy, the two Partner States (Rwanda and Kenya) will not observe their own elections.
The EAC Elections Observer Missions to the two Partner States are in response to the invitation by their National Electoral Management Bodies to the Secretariat as well as a response to the decision of the EAC Council of Ministers on observation of elections in the Partner States. The Missions’ mandate is to observe the overall electoral environment, pre-election activities, the polling day, the counting and tallying of results.
The members of the EAC Election Observer Missions have been drawn from different but complementary disciplines and includes, former Members of the East African Legislative Assembly (nominated by their countries) as well as Members of National Assemblies from Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan and Burundi; National Electoral Commissions; National Human Rights Commissions; Civil society organizations; and youth representatives from EAC Youth Ambassadors Platform.
Commenting ahead of the deployment of the EAC Election Observer Missions, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Mr. Charles Njoroge says the two Missions were being undertaken pursuant to Article 3 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community which requires “…adherence to universally acceptable principles of democratic governance and in line with the EAC Principles of Election Observation and Evaluation.
The EAC Deputy Secretary General asserts that “as the region moves deeper in the integration process with the ultimate goal of having a Political Federation, EAC Partner States need to standardize their governance practices and should take keen interest in each other’s’ political and electoral processes”.
Mr. Njoroge contends that successful and peaceful elections in the two Partner States are of paramount importance to the regional integration agenda in order to underpin the outstanding milestones the region has so far achieved through regional integration. “Therefore we expect successful missions in the two Partner States and we very much hope that they will further strengthen the democratic process and advance development in the region’.
The Heads of the Missions are expected to prepare Reports for consideration by the EAC Council of Ministers ahead of transmittal to the respective National Electoral Management Bodies for implementation as may be deemed appropriate.
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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
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Email: eac [at] eachq.org