The Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Kenya 2022, Ivan Štefanec, a Member of the European Parliament from Slovakia, officially launched the EU’s mission today. At a press conference in Nairobi, the Chief Observer stated: “This is the fifth EU Election Observation Mission to Kenya since 2002. It demonstrates the EU’s strong commitment to support Kenya’s democratic institutions.”
During his four-day visit to Kenya, the Chief Observer is holding meetings with a wide range of interlocutors including state authorities, political contestants and presidential candidates, members of the judiciary, media stakeholders, citizen observers as well as other civil society representatives to discuss the ongoing electoral process. “Our mission started with the arrival of a core team of 12 election experts with competencies in various fields nearly three weeks ago, and this week we deployed 48 long-term observers in teams of 2 to cover 39 counties across Kenya. This reflects the EU’s established election observation methodology, which is based on a long-term approach and focuses on the entire electoral process.“ said Ivan Štefanec.
For the first time in Kenya, the EU EOM has a dedicated Election Technology Analyst who will assess the use of technologies in different phases of the election process, as well as a Social Media Analyst, who leads a team of six social media observers to assess the role of social media and digital communication in the process. The mission also monitors a range of traditional media, including local language radio stations.
A delegation of Members of the European Parliament as well as 48 short-term observers and other EU Member States’ representatives in Kenya will join the mission shortly before election day. In total, around 180 observers from EU Member States, Norway, Switzerland and Canada, will observe the voting, counting, and tabulation process on 9 August. The EU EOM will issue a preliminary statement shortly after the election day and will remain in Kenya until the completion of the electoral process, including in case of a second round of presidential elections, and any complaints and appeals processes.
The EU EOM has been deployed by the EU following an invitation from the Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is bound by a code of conduct, which requires strict neutrality and non-interference. It undertakes its work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation, endorsed under UN auspices in 2005.
The EU EOM operates under a separate and distinct mandate from the EU Delegation in Kenya, and it is independent in its findings from EU Member States and all EU institutions.