Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 August 2022:
The head of the AU-COMESA joint Elections Observer Mission(EOM), former Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma, along with Ambassador Marie-Pierre Lloyd, the deputy head of mission, and former President of Burundi, H.E NDAYIZEYE Domitien, were out yesterday observing the opening of polls in Nairobi, Kenya.
As counting gets underway, the three leaders said they were impressed with the turn out in the centres they visited which indicates the voters’ determination to elect their new leaders.
They also noted that the process started generally smoothly and on time, except for few delays and some technical hitches in some places.
Where the delays were substantial, the presiding officers assured that the time lost would be adequately compensated for by accordingly extending the time for the close of polling.
Though voting has gone on generally peacefully so far, there are still calls for the current tranquil atmosphere to be sustained until the end of the entire process.
“Between now and the announcement of the final results is a long time, we therefore urge for this peaceful and orderly atmosphere to be sustained to the credit of all Kenyans,” said former President Koroma.
Kenyans ultimate desired outcome for these elections is a more democratic, more peaceful, more united and more prosperous country. This aspiration could not have been better expressed by the determined Kenyans themselves.
Millions of Kenyans joined the queues as early as 04:30 to cast their votes. One of them, Peter Wairimu said: “Clearly, we are united on why we turned out in such numbers to choose our leaders. We are not asking for too much other than for a magnanimous acceptance of the outcome by all sides”.
According to Amb. Lloyd, it is critical for all the stakeholders to heed the calls for sustained peace and tranquillity in the interest of the region’s economic growth.
“We urge all the stakeholders to heed the people’s call for peace through out – from now through to the announcement of the final certified results, on to the critical transition phase. This is critical for the wellbeing and economic growth of Kenya and the COMESA countries”, urged Ambassador Lloyd.
Today Wednesday, 10th August, former President Koroma chaired the post elections meeting of heads of international elections observer missions. The international missions include the East African Community, the Commonwealth, the European Union (EU), the Carter Centre, the East African Stabdby Force, the International Republican Institute/National Democratic Institute (IRI/NDI), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa Democracy in Africa (EISA), and the Westminster Foundation. Also in attendance was H.E. Hanneh Tete, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General, (UNSRSG) for the Horn of Africa.
The Mission exchanged reactions and observations from the various teams witnessed on polling day. They agreed that there has been a considerable improvement on the general organisation and management of the polls compared to 2017. The IOMs also commended the discipline, patience and determination of voters and agreed to continue to do everything possible in support of the prevailing peace and tranquil atmosphere. They urged for continued improvement on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) levels of transparency and communication with the public.
They further called for continued calm while the final stages of the Electoral process are ongoing. The consensus is that the elections are not over yet until the IEBC announces the final results. Overall, the process is a tribute to the determination and patience of the Kenyan people and to professionalism and effectiveness of all the institutions involved in conducting these elections.
While they noted that compared to 2017, the voter turn out in these elections was less, they agreed that these elections will strengthen Kenya’s democracy.
These are Kenyans speaking about the polls yesterday:
This is former President Koroma speaking to the BBC: