Regional countries call for peaceful elections in Kenya

Members of a joint sectoral council of the East African Community (EAC) responsible for foreign policy coordination have called for fair and peaceful presidential elections in Kenya.

Members of a joint sectoral council of the East African Community (EAC) responsible for foreign policy coordination have called for fair and peaceful presidential elections in Kenya.

A statement released, on Saturday, after the council’s week-long meeting in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, underscores the need for free, fair and peaceful elections in Kenya.

“We wish the people of Kenya free, fair and peaceful elections and call upon well-wishers to refrain from interfering with the electoral process in Kenya,” the statement reads in part.

“We underscore the need to respect the will and decision of the people of Kenya to elect the leaders of their choice,” it adds, while at the same time expressing solidarity with Kenyans in their efforts to organise the historic general elections following the promulgation of a new constitution in 2010.

The polls are slated for March 4, the first held under the new constitution, which was passed following a referendum. The polls will also be the first run by Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Eight vie for top job

As Kenyans are set for a new taste of the country’s democracy and leadership, eight candidates are vying for the presidential seat. They include Prime Minister Raila Odinga (Orange Democratic Movement), Uhuru Kenyatta (National Alliance Party), Musalia Mudavadi (the Jubilee Coalition), Peter Kenneth (Kenya National Congress), Raphael Tuju (Party of Action), Joseph Ole Kiyiapi (Restore And Build Kenya Party) and Martha Karua (NARC).

Voters will also elect Senators, Governors, Members of Parliament, Civic Wards and Women Representatives.

The EAC will deploy a team of observers to monitor the elections.

Post-election violence in 2007 led to the death of more than 1,000 people, while an estimated 300,000 were left homeless. The clashes arose among supporters of rival parties following the announcement of Mwai Kibaki, who was hastily sworn in on the steps of State House on December 30.

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