On the invitation of the IEBC, the European Union has deployed an EOM to Kenya to observe the general elections scheduled for 8 August 2017.
The mission is led by Chief Observer Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Netherlands. The EU EOM will assess the general elections according to Kenya’s national law and the international commitments it has made regarding elections.
The EU EOM does not interfere in any way in the electoral process. It provides an informed, comprehensive and impartial analysis of the entire electoral process in line with established EU methodology. The EU deployed EOMs to Kenya in 2002, 2007 and 2013. It deployed a Follow-up Mission in 2016 and an Expert Mission earlier in 2017.
The EU EOM operates in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, adopted at the United Nations in 2005 by a number of international bodies involved in election observation.
The EU EOM applies an established methodology for observing elections. EU EOMs do not offer advice and assistance or in any way interfere in the electoral process. The EU EOM does not legitimise the electoral process nor validate the election results. It has a mandate to observe, collect and analyze information concerning the election process and to ensure that all findings and conclusions are based on carefully verified factual information.
On election day, each team of EU observers visits a number of different polling stations. To ensure the consistency of election day observation, EU observer teams use standard reporting forms.
The main objectives of election observation are to:
· Make recommendations to help improve future electoral processes
· Support the democratic process in partner countries
· Strengthen respect for human rights and the rule of law
The methodology is based on long-term observation, through which the EU EOM’s experts analyse all aspects of the electoral process, including:
· the legal framework and its implementation
· the political context
· the performance of the election administration
· the role of state and other institutions
· voter registration
· campaign activities
· the overall environment of the elections, including respect for fundamental freedoms, civil and political rights
· access to and conduct of the media
· the role of civil society
· the voting, counting and transmission of results
· the complaints or appeals process
· the announcement of the results
A core team of election experts and specialists was deployed to Nairobi on June 14, to follow and analyse the election process.
On 27 June, the EU EOM deployed 30 long-term observers (LTOs) to 13 counties of Kenya. In teams of two they are observing in approximately 240 of Kenya’s 290 constituencies.
Shortly before election day, the mission is reinforced by 32 short-term observers (STOs), who join to observe election day activities at the polling stations.
LTOs and STOs will also be joined by diplomats from EU Member States resident in Kenya, plus Canada, Norway and Switzerland, as well as a delegation of seven Members of the European Parliament. This brings the total number of EU EOM observers over the election day period to approximately 130.
The EU EOM’s assessment of the electoral process is independent of any EU institution and member state. Its purpose is to offer a comprehensive and impartial assessment of the electoral process and its compliance with Kenya’s national law and international commitments.
EU observers adhere to a Code of Conduct which obliges them to maintain strict impartiality and neutrality, and to abide by Kenyan law.
A preliminary statement on the findings of the mission is issued shortly after election day. This statement, presented by the Chief Observer at a press conference in Nairobi, outlines the EU EOM’s initial assessment prior to the completion of the electoral process.
A comprehensive final report, with recommendations for improving future elections, will be published some two months later.