Former Botswana President Festus Mogae has withdrawn from Commonwealth Observer Mission for Kenya’s General Elections.
Mogae, who was appointed in July as the leader of the 20-member group, stepped down on Wednesday.
He has been replaced by former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, former president of Botswana has had to withdraw from the observer team for the coming election in Kenya,” the Commonwealth statement reads.
This was to be the second time Mogae was chairing the team, following the March 4, 2013 elections where he led the 17-member team.
Golding welcomed the move and urged the electorate and Kenyan leaders to cooperate.
“Just as politicians have made a commitment to a peaceful election, we urge stakeholders, including the electorate, to commit to doing the same, consistent with the Commonwealth’s values and principles,” Golding said.
“We know how important elections are in a democracy; they empower the people to choose representatives who will, in turn, make decisions on their behalf.”
The team arrived in the country on Tuesday at the invitation of the Commonwealth Secretary General, Patricia Scotland.
The delegates are set to monitor the forthcoming general election.
They will travel across the country to build a comprehensive picture of the conduct of the process and to observe the campaign and the electoral preparations.
The team will thereafter issue an interim report of the preliminary findings on August 11 after the polls.
Source: the Star