Kenyan leader says peaceful polls will spur investors

Kenyan leader says peaceful polls will spur investors
# 09 January 2013 19:55 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday urged citizens to embrace peace as they go into the elections in March, saying peaceful polls will send the right signals to investors, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Kibaki said a peaceful and just election was particularly important to the tourism sector as it would boost the country's position as a preferred tourist destination.

"A peaceful and just election will send the right signals that we are a people tolerant to different shades of opinion and varying political affiliations," he said when he officially opened the 23.5 million U.S. dollar Boma Hotel in Nairobi.

Kenyans are seeking to avoid all reasons that would raise the doubts about the legitimacy of the next elections as it is an opportunity to put the country on political track after the post election violence of 2007/2008 that was caused by a disputed presidential vote tally.

The forthcoming elections come amid far reaching institutional reforms that have seen new officers take oath of office after an elaborate appointing procedure.

The elections are planned for the president, members of the newly created Senate, Parliament, governors for 47 county governments, members of the regional Parliaments and representatives of youth and women.

Earlier, Kibaki emphasized that all relevant arms of government and other agencies must take all the necessary steps to ensure that Kenya had a smooth, free, fair and peaceful election.

The president which was briefed by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on preparations for the forthcoming general elections said it was critical that Kenyans be availed with much information as possible in order to allow them make informed decisions.

He assured that security will be given priority and the government would mobilize officers from all government security agencies to ensure a secure and peaceful election.

"In this regard a meeting will be held between the IEBC, the National Police Service and Provincial Administration to discuss security development during the nomination and polling exercises," said a statement issued after the meeting in Nairobi.

During the meeting, Kibaki also appealed to Kenyans to maintain peace during the campaigns for both nominations and the polling times.

While briefing the President, IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan, underlined some of the highlights of his commission's preparedness for the elections.

He first noted that the commission managed to register 14.9 million voters with the inspection of voters register scheduled to start on Jan. 15, adding that there is a provision of an SMS platform query to enable voters check their status.

Hassan further said a total of 33,000 polling stations have been established with each expected to cater for a maximum of 450 voters. The chairman also noted that procurement of materials that the commission requires has been finalized.

He also observed that nomination venue for presidential candidates will be done in Nairobi while those of the other seats will be at the county levels.

Further adding that results after polling will be released on real time with access for all media outlets with also printouts being available in case of a BVR kit breakdown.

He noted that dispute regulations have been developed and also the political parties' liaison committees at both National and County levels have been established.

The forthcoming elections come amid far reaching institutional reforms that have seen new officers take oath of office after an elaborate appointing procedure.

The new law also marked the most significant milestone in the implementation of the reform agenda of the coalition government, which both partners had committed themselves to when the National Accord was signed in early 2008.

The new constitution was created as a tool to avoid a repeat of the violence that was also blamed on the lack of a transparent political structure and credible state institutions, including the courts.