Pan African assembly to send poll monitors
14 October 2012, Daily Nation
The Pan African Parliament is to send a team to monitor Kenya's election process ahead of the General Election.
Mr Bethel Amadi, Speaker of the South African based assembly, said the delegation will monitor all aspect's of the process before the March 4, elections.
"We are convinced that consensus building need to be done before the elections to ensure transparency in the process such as presence of a level playing field and an independent electoral commission. We believe this consensus building will ensure political players are given even playing field to participate,'' Mr Amadi said.
The Speaker said a meeting held with members of Parliament and interest groups on Thursday had resolved that an election observer delegation be sent to Kenya well in advance.
Mr Amadi, who spoke to Nation on the sidelines of a continental consultative meeting on the progress made in the Millenium Development Goals (MDG's), said the institution was pushing the African Union to have an early warning system in a bid to prevent political conflicts sparked by election disputes.
"We are pushing to establish ways of monitoring countries going into elections well in advance. With an early warning system, such as that of our Ecowas counterparts, we will avoid coming in after the whole process has broken down,'' he added.
However, Mr Amadi, an MP from Nigeria, believes a lasting answer to electoral conflicts in Africa lies in ratification and implementation by member countries of the African Charter on democracy, elections and governance of the African Union.
The charter, yet to be ratified by all the AU members, requires states to commit to establish and strengthen independent and impartial electoral bodies to manage elections and ensure regular elections and in a free, transparent and fair environment.
On its part, the chairperson of the African Union Commission is required to send an 'explanatory'' just before the elections to establish whether set conditions for a free and transparent election is in place in conformity with the principles that govern the Union's ''democratic elections.''
The African Union has been widely accused of lethargy in enforcing good governance within its member states.
On Friday, Mr Amadi said the Pan African Parliament, one of the 10 organs of the African Union, had embarked on a push for ratification and implementation on the democracy and good governance charter and other related instruments.