Busy schedule for AU observers with upcoming elections in Senegal and Kenya

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Opposition supporters demonstrate with counterfeit money featuring the face of presidential candidate Raila Odinga before his fake swearing-in.

  • AU observer missions are already in Senegal and Kenya where elections are scheduled.
  • The Senegalese opposition sees the legislative elections as a dress rehearsal for the presidential elections scheduled for next year.
  • Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga seek to cement a political dynasty dating back to the 1960s when their fathers were rivals.

The African Union (AU) Election Observation Mission is about to begin a big month of work, with two teams dispatched to Senegal and Kenya, where elections are scheduled.

Senegal is holding legislative elections on July 31.

The polls, the opposition say, would be a dress rehearsal for the 2024 presidential elections and if they get a parliamentary advantage they will use it to stop President Macky Sall in his tracks from running for a third term.

Then, on August 9, Kenya will hold general elections that will mark the end of Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency.

His father, the late Jomo Kenyatta, was president of Kenya at independence.

President of Kenya

President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta

GONZALO FUENTES / SWIMMING POOL / AFP

In the upcoming elections, Kenyatta is running for his former political rival, Raila Odinga.

Raila’s father, Jaramogi Odinga, became Kenya’s first vice-president after independence in 1964.

Seniors Odinga and Kenyatta would later become political rivals. With Uhuru and Raila born into the political aristocracy, their alliance is today seen as a way to cement dynastic politics in Kenya.

Observation mission in Senegal

According to the AU, “the short-term election observation mission comprises 10 members drawn from the various AU member states and is headed by His Excellency Bernard Makuza, the former Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda.

“The team has been in Senegal since July 25 and will stay there until August 3 after the election results are announced.

“The mandate of the observation mission in Senegal is to provide an accurate and impartial assessment of the electoral process, including the extent to which the conduct of the elections meets regional, continental and international standards for democratic elections,” Robert said. Gerenge, the senior adviser. to election management bodies [EMBs].

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The observers will also offer recommendations for the improvement of future elections based on the results and demonstrate AU solidarity and support for the consolidation of democracy in Senegal.

A preliminary statement on the credibility of the ballot is expected on August 2.

Mission to Kenya

Due to the high stakes in Kenya, the AU began its work there in May through a high-level pre-election assessment mission, jointly with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). and the East African Community (EAC).

The team is led by Domitien Ndayizeye, the former president of Burundi and current chairman of the AU Panel of the Wise.

“The purpose of the mission was to assess the state of preparedness for the August 9, 2022 general elections and to engage in consultations and dialogue with key stakeholders to ensure peaceful, credible and inclusive outcomes,” Idrissa said. Kamara, political and electoral officer in the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the AU.

Based on the findings and recommendations of the High Level Pre-Election Assessment Mission, the AU then deployed an Election Experts Mission to Kenya from 25 June to 24 July 2022.

The mission includes eight experts from AU, COMESA, EAC, IGAD and independent conflict analysts. Its mandate is to assess the political dynamics, genuine inclusiveness, competitiveness and fairness of the electoral process, particularly electoral campaigns.


The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced by the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained therein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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