ADDIS ABABA, June 28 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) on Tuesday disclosed the deployment of an election experts' mission to observe the integrity of Kenya's forthcoming general elections.
The AU in a statement issued Tuesday said the pan African bloc is deploying an international election expert mission to Kenya comprising eight core team experts.
"The deployment of an election expert mission is part of the African Union's comprehensive and long-term engagement in the 2022 general elections in Kenya," an AU statement read.
The move followed an invitation from the government of Kenya to the continental bloc to observe the forthcoming general elections slated in August this year.
The core team experts will follow up on the electoral preparations, assess the political dynamics and genuine competitiveness and fairness of the electoral campaign, as well as maintain regular contact with national and international stakeholders before, during and after the elections, the AU said.
The work of the core experts team will be complemented by long term observers, who will be deployed a few weeks before the polls, and short term observers, who will be deployed a week before election day, it said.
The AU, in partnership with regional blocs COMESA and EAC, had deployed a joint high level pre-election assessment mission to Kenya from May 14 to 21 so as to promote free, fair, peaceful and credible elections in the country.
According to the AU, the joint AU-COMESA-EAC mission recommended continued engagement in the electoral process to ensure violence free, fair and credible elections.
The East African nation will go to the polls on August 9 to elect a new president and national lawmakers, as well as the governors and assemblies of its 47 counties.
In March, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta reiterated his call to Kenyans to embrace peace and live together in harmony as the country gears toward the August 9 general elections. Kenyatta who is due to retire after completing his two-term in office emphasized that the forthcoming elections should not divide Kenyans. ■