The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) on Friday launched its election observer mission to observe Kenya’s August 9 general elections.
Ismael Abraao Gaspar Martins, the head of the Delegation of the ICGLR Observation Mission told journalists in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, that the mission comprises 81 high-profile personalities and experts drawn from ICGLR member states. “In our quest to achieve an objective assessment of the electoral process, we conducted a pre-electoral analysis which assessed the state of preparations and preparedness of the country to hold the 2022 general elections,” Martins said. ICGLR is an inter-governmental organization of 12 member states including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Angola, Zambia, and the Central African Republic.
“As a mission, we will endeavor to ensure that the assessment of and recommendations on the credibility, transparency, fairness, and effective organization of the elections will be based on the benchmarks provided in the pact on security, stability, and development in the great lakes region,” Martins said. He said that the current election campaigns have been relatively peaceful and the wish is that the impending transition will unfold freely, fairly, and peacefully. “We urge all the parties to keep the momentum and spirit of peaceful, free, and fair elections,” Martins added.
He revealed that the ICGLR Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance compels member states to commit to the promotion of the universal values and principles of democracy, good governance, human rights, and the right to development. “The provisions in the protocol will guide our observation during these elections in accordance with relevant international provisions,” he observed. The Aug. 9 election is set to be contested between two major political alliances — Kenya Kwanza headed by Deputy President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja which is led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga with backing from President Uhuru Kenyatta.