The former President of Botswana, Mr. Festus Mogae has called it quits today on his appointed duty as election overseer. Mr. Mogae has withdrawn as chairperson of the Commonwealth Observer Group watching the coming August 9th elections. The Commonwealth group consists of 20 member states.
The man Mogae was announced as the leader of the observer group last month. He stepped down and the observer group explained his decision to be due to “unforeseen circumstances”. The former Botswana president will be replaced by former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, former President of Botswana, H.E. Festus Mogae, has to withdraw and has been replaced by The Honorable former Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding,” the team said on 3rd August.
The Commonwealth observer group mad it public in July that they will be in the country so as to observe the General Election, following an invitation by the IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission). This announcement was made by Patricia Scotland, the group’s secretary.
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The observer team was welcomed to Kenya by Ms. Scotland, and the team was to be distributed across the country so as to observe the entire election process.
“Just as politicians have made a commitment to a peaceful election, we urge stakeholders, including the electorate, to commit to doing the same, consistent with the Commonwealth’s values and principles,” said Holding.
We know how important elections are in a democracy; they empower the people to choose representatives who will, in turn, make decisions on their behalf. We, therefore, hope our presence in Kenya serves as a reminder that the people of the Commonwealth stand together with Kenyans as they exercise their democratic rights, recognizing how important these elections are to the people of Kenya, East Africa, Africa, and the whole of the Commonwealth at large.Mr. Holding