Mbeki leads AU Mission to Kenya again
Harare – Former South African President Thabo Mbeki is once again leading the African Union (AU) electoral observer mission to the fresh Presidential elections to be held in Kenya on Thursday, the continental body said on Tuesday.
Kenya held the first round of elections on August 8 this year, but in a historic ruling, the Supreme Court nullified the result of the poll, that had declared incumbent President, Uhuru Kenyata the winner.
The Supreme Court, which ordered a re-run of the poll, declared that it was tainted by irregularities after main opposition leader Raila Odinga challenged the results.
The election however hangs in the balance after Odinga said he would not participate in the re-run.
The AU said Mbeki headed a team of 40 short term observers that will remain in Kenya until November this year.
Part of the team was in Kenya since September 29 this year.
“The deployment of AUEOM to the fresh presidential election in Kenya is in line with the AU’s mandate of promoting and deepening democracy on the continent,” the AU said.
Mbeki was the leader of the AU team for the initial election and was criticized by some sectors for having endorsed the election as free and fair only for it to be later nullified.
Other international observers, among them former Ghana President John Mahama and former United States secretary of state John Kerry had also largely praised the elections and received some slate after annulment of the result.
The AU said its election observers were in Kenya at the invitation of the Kenyan government and the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).