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African, EU observer missions declare Kenya elections largely peaceful

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Kenya’s general elections, held on Tuesday to choose the fifth president, county governors, senators and members of the National Assembly, were largely peaceful, free and fair, according to pan-African blocs.

Furthermore, European Union election observers said that elections in Kenya were marked by less tension compared to previous occasions, according to Africanews.

The observers did, however, raise concerns about the counting process as they had been kept away from it.

The joint election observation mission to Kenya from the AU and Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa), and election observation missions from the East African Community (EAC) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (Igad) said in their preliminary statements that they were satisfied that voting had not been hindered by major glitches or security lapses.

Ernest Bai Koroma, the head of the AU-Comesa Election Observer Mission and former president of Sierra Leone, said Kenya’s electoral body had demonstrated improved its capacity to conduct a seamless national voting exercise.

According to EU chief electoral observer Ivan Stefanec, the lead-up to the elections was characterised by significantly less tension and conflict than in the past.

“Parties and candidates were able to campaign openly throughout the country and to get their messages out to voters. On election day, voters exercised their right to vote in a general peaceful manner throughout the day. The process was calm, albeit prolonged, due to complex procedures.”

“Tabulation is still ongoing, as we know. However, our observers have been kept at some distance from the process, which is reducing transparency,” added Stefanec.

There is a seven-day window for the elections agency to declare the winner of the polls.

According to the Kenyan election authorities, the swearing-in of the president-elect is scheduled to take place on the first Tuesday that comes 14 days from the date the results were announced, or the seventh day following a court judgment upholding the election.

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