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EUEOM Presidential, Parliamentarian
and Civic Elections Kenya 2002

Nation, Saturday November 23, 2002 - Page 12

The European Union will spend about Sh 140million to monitor the elections.

A team of nine observers arrived on Tuesday, led by Mr. Anders Wijkman from Sweden, who is a member of the European Parliament and vice chairman of the House's Development and Co-operation Committee.

He is also a member of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly of the Agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific states the European Union.

He told the Press at the Grand Regency Hotel, Nairobi, where the team has set up base that the EU attached special attention to Kenya, which was why the country was among the nations where the union had deployed its monitors.

Mr. Wijkman said: "The EU considers the observation of elections to be an important component of its policy in promoting human rights and democratisation throughout the world. It takes such activities on the basis of partnership with the host country and with the objective capacity.

" The mission, Mr. Wijkman said, was in Kenya at he invitation of the Government. The team would strive to ensure impartiality because we are observers and not supervisors."

Up to 100 short-term observers and 20 long -term observers will back up the team. The long-term observers will arrive on Tuesday.

On election day, the mission will deploy team members to follow the voting, counting an tabulation of the results throughout the country.

After the elections, the mission will issue a statement on its preliminary findings. A more comprehensive report will follow a month later.

Mr. Wijkman said the EU was impressed by the way the Election Commission was conducting the process, especially the formation of a committee to fight election violence. The committee has been formed jointly by the commission, the police and the Attorney General.

Some of the factors which influenced the sending of the observers was the cordial relationship between Kenya an the EU, the country's strategic position in Africa and the fact that Kenya had embraced a multi-party system of government, said Mr. Wijkman.

"Kenya plays a crucial role in the East African region, which is characterised by tension, and EU appreciates that the country embraces multipartism, hence the need to strengthen democratisation, "he said.

[Story by Nation]

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