The head of the AU-COMESA joint Elections Observer Mission(EOM), former Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma, along with Ambassador Marie-Perre Lyold, the deputy head of mission, and former President of Burundi, H.E NDAYIZEYE Domitien, has on Tuesday observed the opening of polls in Nairobi, Kenya. Former President Domitien joined the Mission on Monday ahead of the activation of its ‘Preventive Diplomacy component.
The three leaders said they were impressed with the turnout in the stations they visited which many say indicates a determination to exercise their civic and political rights of having a saying in the choice of their leaders and the governance of their country. The Mission also noted that the process started generally smoothly and on time, except for a few delays and some technical hitches in some places. Where the delays were substantial, the presiding officers however 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.
No doubt, 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 people of this diverse country.
Millions of Kenyans joined the queues as early as 04:30 to cast their votes. One of them, Peter Wairimu said:
“We are united on why we turned out in such huge 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. Lyold, all the stakeholders must 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 throughout – 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”, said Ambassador Lyold.