Joint Statement by Heads of Mission in Kenya on the August 8th General Elections

On August 8, Kenyans will exercise one of their most important democratic rights and select their leaders.As international partners, we encourage Kenyans to look beyond their differences to come together to ensure free, fair, credible, and peaceful elections. A successful poll will secure the extraordinary promise of the 2010 Constitution, strengthen democracy, and advance prosperity for all Kenyans.

As fellow democracies, we believe democracy is the best form of government, but we know too that it requires determination and commitment. In our experience, successful elections require everyone from all parts of society to work together.

We commend the IEBC for its preparations for the elections. We urge all Kenyans to give the IEBC the space to fulfil its vital role. It is essential that IEBC staff be safe from harassment or attack, and we welcome the Government of Kenya’s commitment to provide them with additional security.

Leaders and politicians have a responsibility to reject violence and hate speech, and to urge their followers to do the same. Candidates running for office, whether they win or lose, should be prepared to welcome the decision of the people with grace and humility. All sides should respect judicial independence and be prepared to resolve any disputes over the polls peacefully through the courts and not violently in the streets.

We urge all registered Kenyans to vote on Election Day. Everyone should feel and be safe, under the protection of security services that guard citizens’ rights and remain politically neutral. Political competition should never turn into bloodshed, and no one should die because of an election.

Effective democracies depend not just on government agencies, but also on a free media and an active civil society. It is important they have the freedom to carry out their roles of informing the public, promoting transparency, and debunking and rejecting false or inflammatory reports.

As partners, we do not support any particular candidate or party. Rather, we support the democratic process and Kenyans’ right to choose their representatives and their future. The choice of Kenya’s next leaders belongs to Kenyans alone.

The August 8 elections are an opportunity for Kenya to build a remarkable future, inspire Africa, expand freedom, and strengthen national unity. We stand with all Kenyans working for credible and peaceful elections.

Signed by the following Heads of Mission in Kenya:

Stefano A. Dejak

Ambassador of the European Union

Robert F. Godec

Ambassador of the United States

Johan Borgstam

Ambassador of Sweden

Antoine Sivan

Ambassador of France

Mette Knudsen

Ambassador of Denmark

Ralf Heckner

Ambassador of Switzerland

Jutta Frasch

Ambassador of Germany

Dr. Harald Guuml;nther

Ambassador of Austria

Javier Garciacute;a de Viedma Bernaldo de Quiroacute;s

Ambassador of Spain

Pavel Rezac

Ambassador of the Czech Republic

Sergiusz Wolkski

Chargeacute; d#39;Affaires a.i., Poland

Nic Hailey

High Commissioner for the United Kingdom

Victor Conrad Roslash;nneberg

Ambassador of Norway

Frans Makken

Ambassador of the Netherlands

John Feakes

High Commissioner for Australia

Tarja Fernaacute;ndez

Ambassador of Finland

Sara Hradecky

High Commissioner for Canada

Mauro Massoni

Ambassador of Italy

Julia Pataki

Ambassador of Romania

Dr. Vincent O’Neill

Ambassador of Ireland

Luisa Fragoso

Chargeacute; d’Affaires of Portugal

Hilde Van Inthoudt

Chargeacute; d#39;Affaires a.i., Belgium

Source: EU Delegation to Kenya.