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EUEOM Presidential, Parliamentarian and Civic Elections Kenya 2002



Eight elected Members of Parliament from African and European countries have arrived in Kenya to observe the elections of 27 December. They will form two different delegations - the European Parliament Delegation and the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly Delegation.

The European Parliament, as the elected parliamentary body of the European Union, has a prominent role in electoral observation, given its democratic legitimacy and specific expertise, and thus raises the political profile of the EU Election Observation Mission, whose Head is himself a Member of the European Parliament. The European Parliament Head of Delegation is Emma, Baroness Nicholson, MEP; its other members are Glyn Ford, MEP amd Jim Nicholson, MEP.

The Joint Parliamentary Assembly is the parliamentary body established under the Cotonou Agreement which established a partnership between African, Caribbean and Pacific states (the ACP) and the European Union. This delegation has five members, three from African countries and two from the European Parliament. The co-Heads of Delegation are Beatrice Kiraso, MP, from Uganda, and Fode Sylla, MEP. The other members are A.M. Badri, MP, from the Sudan, H. Zembere, MP, from Malawi and Nelly Maes, MEP. This delegation will be working in close cooperation with the EUEOM.

As politicians themselves, they are in Kenya to look at the overall political picture, particularly of course at the elections, which are a vital part of the development of democracy and respect for human rights and the rule of law, a fundamental part of the Cotonou Agreement, but also to help further strengthen relations between Kenya, its ACP colleagues, and the European Union, for economic and social progress as well as political development.

For election day, they will be concentrating on particular areas - Central Province for the European Parliament Delegation and Rift Valley Province for the JPA Delegation.

These elections have been identified by both parliamentary bodies as being of particular significance: for Kenya itself, where President Moi is standing down after 24 years in office; for Africa where they may add to recent encouraging examples of democratic change, as in Ghana and Senegal; and for the European Union, linked ever more closely with its African, Caribbean and Pacific partners.
ENDS 23.12.02 16.00 hours Nairobi

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