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Cablegate: Kenya Elections: State of Play On Election

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #4788/01 3521006
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181006Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3934
INFO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 9742
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 5627
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 4961
RUEHFN/AMEMBASSY FREETOWN 0157
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2455
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1747
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 2503
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 2427
RHMFIUU/CJTF HOA
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

UNCLAS NAIROBI 004788

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PREL KE PGOV
SUBJECT: KENYA ELECTIONS: STATE OF PLAY ON ELECTION
OBSERVATION EFFORTS

REF: A. NAIROBI 04567

B. NAIROBI 4457 AND PREVIOUS

SUMMARY & INTRODUCTION
----------------------

1. Kenya will be awash in election observers by the time
voters go to the polls on December 27. Roughly 17,500
international and domestic observers will cover about 27,500
polling stations in 210 parliamentary constituencies, in
addition to party agents who will monitor the proceedings on
behalf of their candidates. The Electoral Commission of
Kenya has encouraged both domestic and international
observers, maintaining a wide open door policy.

2. Embassy Nairobi is deploying over 160 Kenyan and American
staff, easily the largest and widest reaching of all the
international observation missions. On December 18 and 20,
we are providing observation training to approximately 350
observers from over 20 different diplomatic missions. We are
hosting the multi-national control room on election-day. We
have organized media events and the provision of observation
forms, a databank, and a coordinated deployment plan. There
is shared concern within the donor community, however, over
the disorganized, behind-schedule domestic observation
effort, which aspires to train and deploy 17,000 people
during the next two holiday-laden weeks. End Summary &
Introduction.

OUR OBSERVATION EFFORTS
------------------------

3. Embassy Nairobi is deploying over 160 Kenyan and American
staff, easily the largest and widest reaching of all the
international observation missions. We have mobilized all
available resources to maximize our footprint on the ground.
We will deploy 54 teams of observers to polling stations in
all eight provinces. Deployments will be made to areas where
there are competitive parliamentary races, women candidates
are vying, and/or there exists a high potential for vote
manipulation.

4. We are hosting a multi-national control room on December
27-28 to facilitate the safety and security of mission staff,
coordinate logistics and to communicate observation results.
(see para 11, below).

RESIDENT DIPLOMATIC OBSERVATION EFFORTS
---------------------------------------

5. According to a survey undertaken by the Swiss Embassy,
approximately 20 resident diplomatic missions intend to
deploy diplomatic staff to observe the elections. These
nations include South Africa, Japan, Philippines,
Afghanistan (USG-sponsored), the Ukraine, Serbia, Indonesia,
and Argentina. After our own observation efforts, the
British High Commission is expected to provide the next
largest contingent. Some smaller European missions may
second staff to the European Union Observation Mission.

OFFICIAL INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER EFFORTS
---------------------------------------

6. The European Union will deploy an observation mission,
headed by German Member of the European Parliament, Graf
Alexander Lambsdorff. The mission is expected to number 136
observers. Thirty-six long-term observers arrived in early
December and then deployed to regional centers.

7. The Commonwealth of Nations Secretariat (formerly the
British Commonwealth) is also sending an observation mission,
headed by former President of Sierra Leone, Ahmed Tejan
Kabbah. We expect this mission will have approximately 15
observers.

8. The African Union was expected to send a delegation of 20
observers, but has canceled its mission, allegedly because
the GOK invitation was not delivered the requisite two months
before the elections.
PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS
-------------------------------

9. At this time, the only private international observation
that mission is aware of is that of the International
Republican Institute, which will consist of approximately 20
observers. This Delegation will be headed by former A/S
African Affairs Constance Newman.

DOMESTIC OBSERVATION EFFORTS
---------------------------

10. Kenyan civil society organizations will provide the bulk
of all election observers. With USG and other donor support,
13 civil society organizations have created the Kenyan
Domestic Observers Forum (KEDOF), an umbrella organization
meant to coordinate Kenyan domestic observation efforts for
these elections. KEDOF has received significant technical
assistance from UNDP. KEDOF expects to deploy 17,000
observers.

COORDINATION MECHANISMS
-----------------------

11. We have actively engaged other like minded diplomatic
missions (through the LIMID-P group) to coordinate resident
diplomatic observation efforts. Resident international
observers will undergo joint observation training hosted by
the USG and will use common observation forms. On the day of
the vote, resident diplomatic observers will relay
observations to a joint control room hosted by the US
Mission. This joint control room will coordinate informatio
flows from the field and will be co-located with the US
Mission control room.

COMMENT
-------

12. Given the closeness of the election contest, the
perceived legitimacy of the election outcome could determine
whether the losing side accepts the results with minimal
disturbances. Our staff's commendable response to the call
for volunteers over the Christmas holiday allows us to deploy
teams to all sections of the country, providing a
representative view of the vote as a whole. In addition, our
decision to host the joint observation control room will
provide much greater access to real-time information;
allowing a more comprehensive analysis of the election
process. END COMMENT
RANNEBERGER

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