‘We have no preconceived results’ – Uhuru Kenyatta promises as he leads AU observer mission in South Africa

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 26 May, 2024 17:53 | 2 mins read
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta during a joint AUEOM meeting in South Africa.
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta during a joint AUEOM meeting in South Africa. PHOTO/@4thPresidentKE/X

Kenya’s retired president Uhuru Kenyatta has assured South Africa of a free and fair observation over the general election on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.

There are 28 million registered voters that will cast their ballot in a poll that the ruling party African National Congress (ANC), led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, is tipped to score less than 50 per cent of the vote.

Kenyatta, who is the head of the African Union Election Observers Mission (AUEOM), assured of a free and fair observation during the poll. The retired Kenyan Head of State made the remarks while attending a joint meeting with other approved election observer missions.

"We are here to observe the people of South Africa exercise their democratic right and express their will. We have no preconceived outcome."

“We are here to observe and also to learn from other best practices that can be useful to other countries across the continent,” Kenyatta noted.

The fourth president of Kenya was appointed by the African Union Commission (AUC) to lead AUEOM, which consists of sixty short-term observers (STOs) and three Core Team electoral experts. The mandate of the observer mission is to provide an impartial assessment of the quality of the elections and to ensure they meet regional, continental, and international standards for democratic elections.

Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta attended a joint AUEOM meeting with other approved election observer missions. PHOTO/@4thPresidentKE/X
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta attended a joint AUEOM meeting with other approved election observer missions. PHOTO/@4thPresidentKE/X

Kenyatta's objectives

According to the AUC Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, the mission’s objectives are twofold.

“To deliver an unbiased evaluation of the elections and to offer recommendations for future improvements based on their findings. This mission reflects the AU's commitment to supporting South Africa's democratic process and its dedication to fostering democratic governance, peace, and stability across the continent.

“In addition to observing the electoral process, the mission underlines the AU's solidarity with South Africa during this critical period. By demonstrating support for democratic, credible, and peaceful elections, the AUEOM aims to contribute to the ongoing consolidation of democratic governance in South Africa.

“As the General Elections approach, the presence of the AUEOM under the leadership of Uhuru Kenyatta underscores the AU's commitment to promoting democracy and stability not only in South Africa but across the African continent,” Mahamat noted.

The Kenyatta-led team will release its preliminary findings and recommendations on the conduct of the elections on May 31.  A final and comprehensive report will be released within two months from the date of the announcement of the final election results.

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