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EAC electoral forum recommends standard principles for elections

By Julius Odeke

The East African Community Forum of Electoral Commissions has recommended to the 26th Meeting of the Council of Ministers for consideration and adoption of the EAC Principles for Election Observation and Evaluation in partner states’ elections.

According to the press release issued it stated that, “The principles give clear guidelines on the structure, methodology, timeframes and reporting back by the EAC Election Observer Missions. The principles also provide guidelines for election observation and the code of conduct for election observers. EAC missions have in the past applied other regional guidelines and codes of conduct from the African Union, SADC and the United Nations.”

The Forum, which met in Nairobi, Kenya, noted that the instrument, which has drawn from different regional and international normative frameworks, has been tailored to be EAC-specific in context.

“The draft principles provide a systematized framework for organizing and deploying different forms of observer missions and outlines the principles, scope and methodology for the EAC Election Observer Missions,” said EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, Dr. Julius Rotich.

He added that the Observer Missions doubled as support missions that would facilitate peer learning and information exchange while entrenching the culture of democracy in the region.

Meanwhile, the EAC Pre-Election Assessment Mission, undertaken by the EAC Forum of Electoral Commissions has so far expressed satisfaction on Kenya’s preparations for the next year’s election despite the challenges.

“Kenya has made considerable progress towards conducting free, fair and credible elections,” the Mission said in its report, adding that it was convinced that the right conditions exist for the country to pull off a credible poll and backing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to successfully conclude that exercise.

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