Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lesotho: Ex-prime minister of Kenya leads Africa Union team for poll

Cord leader Raila Odinga has been picked to head a team of African Union observers who will monitor Saturday’s elections in Lesotho.

Mr Odinga will be leading a delegation of 40-member who will leave Nairobi for the southern African nation today.

The observer mission comprises members of the Pan-African Parliament, electoral officials from various countries and representatives from human rights and civil society organisations from across Africa.

A statement by Mr Odinga’s spokesman, Mr Dennis Onyango, says the team will meet key officials before the National Assembly polls start.

It will meet officials of the Independent Electoral Commission, leaders of political parties, representatives of civil society organisations and members of other international observer groups.


The Commission of the African Union contacted Mr Odinga last month, asking him to lead its observer mission.

“The short-term observers will complement the work of the AU long-term experts who have been deployed since January 29, and will remain in Lesotho until March 14,” said Mr Onyango.

After the elections, the mission will release its preliminary statement at a press conference in the capital, Maseru.

“Subsequently, the mission will produce a more detailed final report with recommendations two months after the elections,” Mr Onyango added.

Lesotho’s divided political leaders agreed to hold elections this month, two years ahead of schedule, as part of a deal mediated by South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.


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