European Union election observers warn of poll violence

Monday July 03 2017

European Union election observers have warned of possible violence as Kenyans prepare to vote next month.

The head of the EU Election Observation Mission to Kenya, Ms Marietje Schaake, yesterday said concerns about violence had been raised from several quarters.

“Kenyans are concerned about this. The security and safety of the elections depends on many agencies,” Ms Schaake said at Sarova Stanley Hotel.

She did not, however, specify the areas likely to witness chaos but instead said the mission would present its findings soon.


“We cannot go into all that now and do not want to jump to conclusions,” she said.


Last week, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights flagged Kitui, Machakos and as Busia as possible hotspots, following the confusion witnessed during party primaries.

Last year, the National Cohesion and Integration and Commission fingered 19 counties where violence could occur during the election.

The regions listed were Nairobi, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Narok, Kericho, Kisii, Homa Bay, Isiolo, Turkana, Bungoma, Kiambu, Kilifi, Lamu, Migori, Baringo and West Pokot.

Ms Schaake said members of her group held meetings with players in the election, both in the government and the opposition and would still do so.


She added that some of the key issues to be discussed include the polls legal framework, electoral administration, voter registration, nominations, campaigning, the media, voting and counting, tally of results and dispute resolution mechanisms.

“The mission will look at the reality across the country and make recommendations on how to improve future elections,” she said.

Ms Schaake added that observers held a meeting with electoral commission  top officials who said the agency was ready to deliver to Kenyans free and fair polls.

“We are still looking at the IEBC procedures and what it has done as it prepares for the elections,” she said.

There are 30 long term observers in the country with an additional 32 short term ones deployed. The team comprises about 100 individuals from the EU, Norway and Switzerland.