Politics of Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Source: Daily Graphic
The Former Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Peter Mac Manu, is leading an observer team of the Democratic Union of Africa (DUA) to monitor the Kenyan general election in his capacity as the Honorary Chairman of DUA.
Other members of the team from Uganda, Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi will monitor the election which will be held on March 4, 2013.
The election, which will cover six areas, presidential, senators, members of parliament, governors, county and women representatives, will be the first held under the new Kenya Constitution adopted by a referendum in August 2010.
This was contained in a statement issued by the honorary chairman. DUA is a working association of democratic parties in Africa and like-minded political parties of the centre and centre right.
Kenyans went to elections in 2007 and was marked by post-election violence that led to the death of over 1,300 lives and about 600,000 internally displaced people.
The election is managed and conducted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
IEBC is chaired by Mr Issak Hassan, and has conducted a successful biometric voters’ registration last December that registered 14.3 million voters for the election.
The IEBC will use an electronic poll book and finger print scanners attached to laptop computers for biometric identification of the voter on Election Day in its 36,000 polling stations.
By the swipe of a finger, a voter’s detail will appear allowing him or her to be given ballot papers to mark or thumbprint and drop in ballot boxes whose colour on the lid will correspond with the ballot paper.
So far, DUA observers can report of a generally peaceful campaign with Presidential candidates hopping in and out of helicopters to convey their messages to potential voters. Campaign finance is provided by national political parties through public funding in proportion to the strength of their representation in parliament or votes garnered in previous elections.
For the first time in the election history in Kenya ,two presidential debates are been held-a credit to the growth of multi party democracy in Kenya.
DUA team of election observers led by Mr Mac Manu have signed a code of conduct with the IEBC of Kenya.
DUA provides a forum in which parties holding similar beliefs can come together and exchange views on matters of policy and organisational interest, so that they can learn from each other, act together, establish contacts and speak with one strong voice to promote democracy and centre, centre-right policies around in Africa.