U.S. Congresswoman Bass On Kenya Election Observer Team

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Rep. Karen  Bass

The National Democratic Institute (NDI) has announced that Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Africa, will join an international, bipartisan election delegation deployed to Kenya to observe the August 8 general elections. The delegation will conduct its assessment in accordance with Kenyan law and the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation.

Leading NDI’s international and bipartisan mission in addition to Rep. Bass will be:

•                  Dr. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi; Former Commissioner for Political Affairs, Africa Union.
•                  Professor Attahiru Jega; Former Chairman, Independent National Election Commission of Nigeria.
•                  Hon. Justice Yvonne Mokgoro; Former Justice, Constitutional Court of South Africa.
•                  Governor Christine Todd Whitman; Former Governor of New Jersey.

NDI has supported Kenyan efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and advance democratic reforms since 1993. In addition to the international delegation, NDI -- as in past Kenyan elections -- will be working in partnership with the Election Observation Group (EOG), which will deploy over 7,000 citizen election observers across Kenya.

The upcoming delegation follows an April pre-election mission that put forth recommendations concerning preparations, political dialogue, and the development of an inclusive political process.

During the week of April 3-7, 2017, NDI conducted an international pre-election assessment mission to Kenya’s general elections, and released findings and recommendations. The mission examined election preparations, assessed the political environment, and offered recommendations that Kenyan citizens, civil society, political parties, and the government can take to ensure the integrity and peacefulness of the electoral process.

The delegation included regional and election experts from North America, Europe and Africa: former chair of South Africa’s Independent Electoral Commission, Dr. Brigalia Bam; former chair of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Attahiru Jega; NDI senior associate and director of electoral programs, Pat Merloe; IRI Board member and former assistant secretary of state for Africa, Constance Newman; NDI senior associate and director for Southern and East Africa, Dr. Keith Jennings; and NDI director of Gender, Women and Democracy, Sandra Pepera.

NDI’s international pre-election assessment mission in Kenya was funded by a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The August delegation is being funded by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy.


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