Kenya elections: Ex-Ethiopia president to lead Igad observers

Thursday July 14 2022

Former Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu. FILE PHOTO | AFP


The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) has appointed Dr Mulatu Teshome, Ethiopia’s former president, to lead its observer mission in the forthcoming Kenyan general election.

Dr Mulatu, who was ceremonial president between 2013 and 2018, will lead the team that is yet to be deployed to Nairobi at the invitation of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

He was replaced by career diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde, the first woman to become Ethiopia’s president. The prime minister wields political power in Ethiopia, with the president’s role restricted to attending ceremonies and functions.

Igad, a regional trade bloc comprising eight countries including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan, said it takes the invitation as an “honour to support the advance of Kenya’s democratisation process.”

Igad Executive Secretary, Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, has lauded Dr Mulatu’s appointment, saying “he is a well-respected statesman and a distinguished diplomat.”

Kenyans head to the polls on August 9.