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European Union Mission To Observe Kenya Elections

1/24/2013 8:28 AM ET

The European Union will deploy an EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to monitor general elections in Kenya scheduled for March 4.

A decision regarding the Kenyan government's invitation to send observers was taken by EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton, her spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday.

The mission is headed by Member of the European Parliament Alojz Peterle, who led the EU EOM to Nigeria in 2011. The 11 experts of the core team of this mission have already arrived in Nairobi. They will be joined by 16 long term observers by the month-end and then 18 additional short term observers.

A Delegation of the European Parliament will also join this mission close to the polling day.

The EU EOM will make a thorough and comprehensive assessment of the election process and will benefit from the analysis already provided by the experts deployed to assess the voter registration and preparations for elections since November 2012.

"Genuine, transparent and peaceful elections are essential for democracy, security and prosperity in Kenya," Ashton said. When traveling to Kenya in August last year, the High Representative expressed her determination to support Kenyan efforts to foster a credible electoral process. "The EU EOM and other support provided to the electoral process, and above all, our bilateral partnership, show the great importance the EU attaches to these elections," the statement added.

by RTT Staff Writer

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