RB asked to ensure peaceful polls in Kenya
Nairobi, March 3rd , 2013, ZANIS — The Kenyan election authorities have requested Zambia’s fourth President Rupiah Banda to reach out to Kenyan political leaders and advise them against issuing any statements that might plunge the East African country into chaos after Monday’s general elections.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Ahmed Isaack Hassan made the request when President Banda, who is leader of the Carter Centre international election observer mission at the Kenyan elections, paid a courtesy call on the elections chief.
Mr Hassan said his commission had done all that it could to ensure the holding of free and fair elections and hoped that all political players would play their part in ensuring that peace is maintained both before and after the elections.
“We like to ask you, as former head of state, to appeal to the presidential candidates to avoid wild allegations of rigging. This could spark the problems we experienced after the 2007 elections. But so far, there’s no motivation for violence,” Mr Hassan said.
This is contained in a statement to ZANIS , today , signed by the Fourth President ‘s Deputy Administrative Assistant Kennedy Limwanya.
Dr John Stremlau the delegation co-leader and Carter Centre vice-president for peace programmes, Dr David Pottie, who is associate director of the Carter Centre’s democracy programme, and field office director Stephane Mondon, accompanied President Banda to the IEBC offices.
The former Zambian President later held a meeting with the leaders of the election observer missions from the Commonwealth, European Union (EU), African Union (AU), the East African Community and the Great Lakes region.
The meeting, which was chaired by AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, included leader of the Commonwealth observer team and former Botswana President Festus Mogae, former Mozambiquan President and leader of the AU team Joaquim Chissano, and EU team leader Alojz Peterle.
President Banda concluded his day’s programme with a meeting with Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Willy Mutunga who assured the Carter centre delegation that the Kenyan Judiciary had no option but to deliver efficiently in order to restore the confidence that was eroded in the 2007 elections.
Kenyans go to the polls on 4 March in the first general election since the disputed contest of December 2007 unexpectedly exploded into violence.
During the elections Kenyans will choose a president, members of parliament and senators, county governors and members of the newly formed county assembly.
According to the BBC reports, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki will not be seeking re-election.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga, his partner in the uneasy coalition, is a front-runner in the presidential race. The post of prime minister – created in a peace agreement negotiated by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan – will cease to exist.