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Carter Center Launches Election Observation Mission in Kenya

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison, soyia.ellison@cartercenter.org
In Nairobi, Don Bisson, don.bisson@cartercenter.org or +254 (0) 741 768 354

NAIROBI — At the invitation of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, The Carter Center has launched an international election observation mission for the country’s Aug. 8 general election.

The Center is accredited by the IEBC to observe the presidential, parliamentary, county governor, and county assembly ward elections. Its core team of experts established a presence in Nairobi on April 14 and deployed 12 long-term observers to locations across Kenya the following week. It will deploy an additional 32 short-term observers in the lead-up to the polls.

The mission will make a comprehensive assessment of the electoral process for compliance with national law and international election standards by observing the campaign environment; the candidate nomination process; the voter registration and verification processes; the political participation of women, youth, and persons with disabilities; the administration of the elections; voting-day procedures; and the counting and tabulation of ballots.

Members of the mission will hold regular meetings with key stakeholders, including political party candidates, civil society organizations, domestic citizen election observers, members of the international community, and representatives of the electoral commission and other institutions charged with supporting the electoral process.

“I am honored that the Center has been welcomed to return to Kenya to observe this year’s elections,” said Field Office Director Don Bisson. “The Carter Center staff and I are pleased to continue working with the Kenyan people, electoral institutions, and political leaders to advance the country’s process of democratization.”

In the closing days of the party primaries, the Center has noted isolated incidents of violence in some areas of the country.

“The Center urges all political parties and other electoral stakeholders to refrain from violence going forward and for parties to call on their supporters to abide by the electoral code of conduct,” said Bisson. 

The Carter Center observed Kenya’s 2013 election and found that the government largely met its commitment to a democratic election, though it noted concerns about the electoral commission’s management of the election.

The Carter Center conducts election observation missions in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct that and has been endorsed by 50 election observation groups.

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"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.