• June 14, 2024
  • Last Update June 14, 2024 6:01 PM
  • Nairobi

Uhuru to South Africans: We’re here to observe you exercise your will

Uhuru to South Africans: We’re here to observe you exercise your will

By Peter Ochieng

Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured South Africans that he has no role in determining their next leaders.  

Kenyatta is currently leading theAfrican Union Election Observer Mission (AUEOM) in South Africa.

South Africans will go the polls tomorrow, where they will elect a new National Assembly, as well as the provincial legislature in each of the nine provinces, after which the President will be elected by members of the National Assembly.

The incumbent Cyril Ramaphosa of ANC, John Steenhuisen and EFF’s Julius Malema are the presidential candidates.

“We are here to observe the people of South Africa exercise their democratic right, we have no preconceived outcomes or anything. We just want to see the people of South Africa having an opportunity to express their will, and for us, this is the job that we have,” Kenyatta told members of the press during a press conference.

Kenyatta and his team arrived in South Africa last week. He has participated in a series of high-level meetings in Johannesburg, to assess the country’s preparedness for the upcoming general elections.

Among the meetings has been with the Commissioners of the Electoral Commission of South Africa, led by Chairman Mosotho Moepya. The commissioners provided a comprehensive briefing on the commission’s preparedness, seizing the opportunity to discuss measures put in place to ensure a smooth, transparent, and credible election process.

The AUEOM led by Kenyatta comprises of 60 short-term observers (STOs) drawn from ambassadors accredited to the African Union, officials of election management bodies, members of African civil society organizations, African election experts, human rights specialists, gender and media experts, and representatives of youth organizations.

The observers are drawn from 24 countries which include Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“The AUEOM will base its assessment on the legal framework governing elections in the Republic of South Africa and the OAU/AU Declaration on the Principles Governing Democratic Elections, the standards and obligations stipulated in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG), and the International Declaration of Principles (DoP) for International Election Observation among others,” said the African Union in a statemen.

The Mission will release its preliminary findings and recommendations on the conduct of the elections on 31 May 2024 in a press conference in Johannesburg.

A final and comprehensive report will be released within two months from the date of announcement of final election results and will be posted on the AU Commission website.

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