Friday

19th Aug 2022

EU alarmed at post-election violence in Kenya

The European Union has cast doubt over Kenya's presidential election results and urged local leaders to prevent violence and uphold the country's status as a "model of democracy in an already fragile region."

Situated on the east coast of Africa with population of around 35 million, Kenya has plunged into unrest following the 27 December poll in which incumbent president Mwai Kibaki was declared a winner despite opposition leader Raila Odinga's claims of victory.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The EU's chief monitor of the elections, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, expressed concern over irregularities in the poll saying it had "fallen short of key international and regional standards for democratic elections," according to media reports.

"They [the elections] were marred by a lack of transparency in the processing and tallying of presidential results, which raises concerns about the accuracy of the final results," the EU team said in a statement.

The EU officials highlighted differences in figures announced in at least two provinces - Molo and Kieni - with the final result sheets published in the country's capital Nairobi claiming significantly better scores for Mr Kibaki, the BBC reported.

"It is important that these irregularities are addressed through dialogue and the appropriate appeal process so as to ensure that the election result is supported by all," stated the EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

He called on "the political leadership to work in a spirit of unity to that end," adding "In an already fragile region, it is important that Kenya upholds its status as a model of democracy."

Violent protests against the election fraud have left almost 350 people dead and tens of thousands displaced, according to AFP.

On Tuesday (1 January), at least 35 children and adults sheltering in a church near the western town of Eldoret were burnt alive by an angry mob, with the country's political leaders blaming each other for inciting ethnic clashes.

Before the disputed election, Kenya was considered as one of Africa's more politically-stable countries. According to analysts, the recent events could negatively affect its role as a regional hub for multinational companies, NGOs and the United Nations.

Opinion

EU election observers play vital role

A Kenyan court decision to nullify presidential elections should not call into question the usefulness of international election observation.

Finland restricts Russian tourist visas

Russian citizens were circumventing the European airspace ban by driving to Helsinki airport, which was being used as a hub to fly to other tourist destinations. Finland is now restricting those border crossings.

Column

Is this strange summer a moment of change?

It is a strange, strange summer. The war in Ukraine continues, 60 percent of Europe is in danger of drought, and Covid is still around and could rebound in the autumn. At the same time, everyone is desperate for normalcy.

Opinion

A year of Taliban — only aid is keeping Afghan kids alive

It's a year since the Western military presence in Afghanistan ended. A year since panic-stricken people flocked to Kabul airport, trying to flee the country, and girls and women waited fearfully for the disintegration of their hard-won rights.

News in Brief

  1. UN chief meets Zelensky and Erdogan over grain exports
  2. Fighting stalls ahead of UN visit, Ukraine says
  3. German chancellor to face MPs over tax-fraud probe
  4. Norway wealth fund makes record €171bn loss
  5. German utility firm Uniper on 'brink of insolvency'
  6. ECB mulls big interest rate hike amid recession risk
  7. Germany unlikely to hit November gas-storage target
  8. Mali accuses France of arming Islamist fighters

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  4. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis

Latest News

  1. Serbia expects difficult talks with Kosovo at EU meeting
  2. How scary is threat to Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant?
  3. Slovakia's government stares into the abyss
  4. Finland restricts Russian tourist visas
  5. Conditions met for German nuclear extension, officials say
  6. A year of Taliban — only aid is keeping Afghan kids alive
  7. Is this strange summer a moment of change?
  8. Germany rejects visa ban for Russian tourists

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us