Our electoral support programmes are objective – UN

On August 8, Kenyans go to the ballot to choose their leaders for the next 5 years ...
File image of one of the polling stations

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has dismissed claims by the Jubilee administration that foreign powers are working with CORD to force a regime change that would see the opposition unseat President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections.

The Jubilee Party, led by National Assembly Majority Leader, Aden Duale, had accused foreign powers of working with the opposition to force a regime change.

Jubilee had also accused a section of non-governmental organizations of directly and indirectly funding opposition’s activities with an aim to destabilize the government and ultimately remove it from power.

UNDP, a subsidiary of the United Nations, said any electoral assistance carried by any of its agents is done in an objective manner.

“UNDP is one of UN agencies whose central mandate provides for electoral support to the UN Member States. UNDP has over the years performed this role within the framework of the Note of Guidance defining UN Role in Electoral Assistance (2001) as revised,” said UNDP is a statement to newsrooms.

It further noted that UN electoral assistance is provided only on the basis of a specific request from the national authorities, which, for Kenya, was received in 2014 and that it is based on guided principles.

“UN electoral assistance is guided by several principles including: National sovereignty and ownership; objective, impartial, neutral and independent assistance; norm-based assistance aimed at furthering respect for all basic human rights and compliance with the rights and principles enshrined in the Charter of the UN, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights and other relevant international legal documents.”

It added: “Electoral assistance provided by the United Nations continues to be carried out in an objective, impartial, neutral and independent manner.”

UNDP further said that the “Strengthening Electoral Processes in Kenya (SEPK) (2015-2018) has been developed, and is implemented in line with these principles. The project is aimed at providing technical support to the IEBC and other related government institutions; and encouraging broad-based citizen participation in the electoral process.”

It also noted that The Project Document was approved and signed by the Government, led by the National Treasury, on July 7, 2015.

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Story By Koome Kimonye
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