World team keeps an eye on critical Kenyan polls

Friday August 4 2017

John Dramani Mahama (center), the head of the Commonwealth Election Observer Mission

John Dramani Mahama (center), the head of the Commonwealth Election Observer Mission, speaks during a press conference on August 3, 2017 at Crowne Plaza in Nairobi. Besides the US Embassy, other foreign missions in Kenya have deployed observers. PHOTO | EMMA NZIOKA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By IBRAHIM ORUKO
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By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
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In excess of 5,000 election observers and hundreds of international journalists are in the country as the global community turns its eyes on the most competitive Kenyan election yet, due on Tuesday, August 8.

On Thursday, the electoral agency Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said it was swamped by requests for accreditation from more than 25 international groups to take part in the elections.

Majority of countries with diplomatic relations with Kenya will also have delegations observing the polls that will pit the ruling Jubilee Party’s President Uhuru Kenyatta against his main rival Raila Odinga of the National Super Alliance (Nasa).

With three days to the elections, IEBC said they had accredited more than 560 and were working round the clock to give the nod to thousands of applicants.