Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and former Prime Minister of Senegal Aminata Touré will co-lead the Carter Center’s election observation mission in Kenya. The mission will deploy more than 50 observers throughout the country on election day.
“Each and every time I’ve visited Kenya, I’ve been reminded of its remarkable culture, strengthened by diversity and dedicated to democratic principles,” Kerry said. “Kenya matters to Africa, and it matters to the international community. I look forward to returning later this summer to observe an important election.
“Kenya has come a long way since the elections of 2007. It is now up to leaders on all sides to ensure that the violence that followed that election isn’t repeated, and those of us who will be on the ground observing the elections also have a responsibility to help every citizen feel confident that the process is fair and just. I urge all political parties and candidates to support a fair, orderly, credible, and nonviolent electoral process; respect the electoral code of conduct; and keep faith with the Kenyan people.”
Touré said that she is honored to co-lead the mission: “It is my hope that the election will be peaceful and reflect the spirit of democracy that persists in Kenya. To that end I join Secretary Kerry in urging all election stakeholders to act responsibly and call on their supporters to do the same. I believe that Kenya’s democracy can emerge from this process stronger than ever and serve as an inspiration to the rest of the continent.”
The Carter Center has had a core team and group of long-term observers in Kenya since April. Kerry, Touré, and the Carter Center leadership team will arrive in the days leading up to the election to meet with key stakeholders — including political party candidates, civil society organizations, government officials, domestic citizen observers, and other international election observer missions, before observing polling and tabulation on Aug. 8.
The Carter Center is observing Kenya’s general election at the invitation of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.