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AU mission now shifts focus to constituencies

The African Union observer mission will assist Kenya in ensuring a credible and transparent process in today’s fresh presidential election. Addressing the press yesterday, former South African president Thabo Mbeki said unlike in the August 8 General Election where they focused on tallying of votes in Bomas, today they will instead give more focus to tallying at constituencies’ tallying centres.

Mbeki, who is leading the group, said the observers will extensively monitor tallying centres to report as accurately as possible. “Last time, we did our job but we focused on the tallying process at the Bomas of Kenya.

As observers, we would not have been able to see the missing forms on the system but to support our sister country, tallying centres at the constituency level will be our focus,” said Mbeki.

However, Mbeki said the number of observers deployed will be few compared to the August 8 General Election. This comes after three other observer missions, the Carter Centre, the European Union Election Observation Union (EU EOM) and the Commonwealth, scaled down the number of election monitors because of security concerns arising from National Super Alliance’s boycott of election.

He urged all political actors, parties and their supporters to create conditions for a peaceful election and refrain from any act of violence. “It is critical that all those concerned work towards the preservation of calm and peace in the country.

Kenyans wishing not to vote should respect the democratic of the rest who will vote,” the statement said. At the same time, Mbeki stressed the need for the security services to exercise restraint, use minimal force in performing their duties and respect the freedom and political liberties of all voters.

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