[SIZE=6]Statement by ambassadors and High Commissioners to Kenya
[SIZE=4]We, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, met today with the IEBC leadership to discuss preparations for the new presidential election.
As committed friends of Kenya, we have been following developments around it very closely. We are deeply concerned by the deterioration in the political atmosphere and the impact this has had on preparations for the election. We believe it is time for Kenyaâ€™s leaders and citizens to come together to work for a free, fair, credible, and peaceful poll.
We are neutral and have no agenda other than to help ensure the Kenyan people have a successful election. We do not support any party, any candidate, or any outcome.
We are committed to supporting Kenya’s Constitution, laws, and institutions. These are critical to a strong democracy and all sides should respect them. As partners, we have provided assistance to the IEBC, as well as for voter education and peace building in Kenya.
On September 1, Kenyaâ€™s Supreme Court issued an historic decision. Now, all sides need to prepare for an election within the constitutional 60-day timeline. It must be conducted consistent with Kenyaâ€™s Constitution and laws.
For this to happen, the IEBC must act decisively and everyone needs to respect its independence. Leaders on both sides must be reasonable in their demands of the IEBC and in their actions leading up to, and following, the new election. It would be impossible to remake the IEBC in a way that satisfies all political demands, and everyone should refrain from undermining it. All should give the IEBC space, time, and respect.
Do not paralyze the IEBC. It is the only institution Kenya has to run the election and ensure Kenyans can choose their president. This is an opportunity for both sides to demonstrate leadership, strengthen Kenyaâ€™s democracy, and build the countryâ€™s international prestige.
Well-established international best practice is to avoid changes to electoral rules just prior to an election.
In the same vein, the growing list of political demands, inflammatory rhetoric, and boycott threats undermine the IEBCâ€™s ability to carry out its constitutionally mandated job to hold a new election. For example, if IEBC personnel are to be removed, it should only be done by the appropriate authorities and be consistent with the law and relevant regulations.
The international community is watching Kenya and every step of its electoral process. [COLOR=rgb(255, 77, 77)]We are also watching what politicians are saying and doing[/SIZE]