EU observer group laud Kenya poll

NAIROBI-- The EU observer mission in Kenya on Thursday hailed the electoral process in Kenya saying it reaffirmed the country’s commitment to strengthen democratic institutions and the rule of law.

Chief Observer of European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) in Kenya Marietje Schaake gave a positive assessment of the voting exercise that took place on Tuesday and urged calm as the tallying of presidential votes gets under way.

“Kenyans can be proud of their participation in the democratic process and should continue following the rule of law throughout the results process,” Schaake remarked adding that any election related disputes should be channeled to the courts.

The EU deployed over 130 observers to different parts of Kenya to monitor the voting exercise, counting and tallying of results.

Schaake noted the voting exercise was conducted in a peaceful and transparent manner in both the ruling party and opposition strongholds save for some technical hitches.

“Voting and counting was assessed as very well conducted and transparent. There were no signs of centralised or localised manipulation,” Schaake told reporters during the release of preliminary statement by foreign election observer missions.

By press time, incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta was leading, with 54%, against his closest challenger Raila Odinga’s 44%, with over 75% of the votes tallied.

Xinhua