John Kerry addresses a press conference in Nairobi on August 10, 2017. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
By SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Former Secretary of State in the Obama administration John Kerry has now distanced himself from initial findings of the Cater Centre observer team he led during the August 8, General Election.
Mr Kerry had on August 10, 2017 expressed confidence in the credibility of the August 8, General Election saying everything was being done above board.
“The ability of the ballots to be secured and to be able to be counted appears to be very strong and so you have forms coming in reflecting the view of the people at the polling station,” he said during a press conference.
John Kerry urges calm, convinced Kenya polls credible
“There’re is an ability here which is critical to be able to provide an appropriate, transparent, accountable counting of the ballot,” he added.
Mr Kerry also angered Kenyans on Twitter-KOT with a tweet on the then just concluded polls.
Mr Kerry in his tweet had urged Kenyans to resolve election complaints through the courts.
A section of KOT led by Nairobi Women Representative Esther Passaris responded by asking Mr Kerry why he and other international observers were quick to put the okay stamp on the 2017 polls.
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Mr Kerry has now penned an opinion in the New York Times where he appears to eat a humble pie and distance himself to an earlier position he and other international observers had taken.
He now says in the opinion piece ‘One Cheer for Democracy in Kenya’ that the Supreme Court ruling that nullified the presidential election did not “contradict the reports of the Carter Center whose findings were broadly similar”.
“The court ruling didn’t contradict the reports of the Carter Center, whose team we led, or those of other observer missions, including the European Union and African Union, whose findings were broadly similar,” he says in the opinion he has c-authored with Aminata Touré a former prime minister of Senegal.
He adds that the Carter Center observers remain in Kenya and continue their monitoring work and their final comprehensive report will be completed after the conclusion of the new election set for October 17 and the resolution of any petitions.
“The court’s historic decision means the world will be watching this race even more closely, and international election monitors must as well. A transparent, credible and peaceful process will affirm the power of Kenya’s democracy — after its court system has already affirmed the strength of its institutions,” he says in the opinion.