STATEMENT OF THE AFRICA LIBERAL NETWORK
Note to editors:
The Africa Liberal Network is Africa’s largest political affiliation, consisting of 45 member parties from over 25 countries.
The largest political affiliation in Africa, the Africa Liberal Network, wishes every success to its Kenyan sister party, the Orange Democratic Movement, in the upcoming elections on 8 August. The ODM will be partaking in the election under the banner of presidential candidate, Raila Amolo Odinga.
As a long-time member of the ALN, the ODM is well-positioned to govern the best interests of all Kenyans. With the party’s strong record of liberal democracy, gender equality, and sound policies, the ALN urges all Kenyans to support ODM candidates across the country. The ALN embarked on an ambitious journey with the ODM in 2016 when it sought to support the growth and development of the party in order to win elections and go on to form a liberal government. The ALN’s Campaign and Organisational Development (COD) Unit supported the ODM in the run-up to polling day. Campaign experts, strategists, researchers and other election professionals was brought in by the ALN and its partners to develop the ODM’s ability to maximise its performance in the Kenyan parliamentary elections. Particular attention was paid to facilitating and supporting the participation of 15 aspiring women candidates in Kenyan politics. Workshops consisted of a range of sessions designed to develop and support the participants in various aspects of Kenyan political life by combining training sessions with the real-life experiences of other female politicians. A final training session in May 2017 focused on a particular candidate, Rahab Robi, and her campaign in her constituency in Migori county. With its strong manifesto for positive change, the ALN firmly believes that the ODM provides the solutions to the challenges faced by Kenyans, regardless of their ethnicity, race, gender, language or any other factor used for division by the party’s detractors.
The ALN calls on the Kenyan government to ensure that the upcoming elections will take place freely and fairly, allowing every Kenyan voter to cast their vote safely. Candidates are encouraged to denounce electoral violence, follow the electoral code of conduct and accept the results of the election unconditionally. The network takes note of worrying reports of violence and intimidation following the abduction, torture and murder of a high-level official of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Christopher Chege Msando. He was one of a small number of officials who had access to the electoral commission’s computer system passwords and had knowledge of location of the servers that will be used in the upcoming elections. Similarly, there have been reports of foreigners working with the opposition being deported ahead of the elections. They were arrested, manhandled by police and had their computers confiscated, where after they were asked to leave the country. A raid on the office of the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition on 4 August is also cause for concern. It was reported that 30 armed men, said to be police, entered the offices of the opposition coalition led by Odinga, confiscated equipment, computers and cameras, and took photos of staff’s identity documents. The ALN condemns any form of intimidation and violence and urges the Kenyan government, political parties and Kenyans to maintain peace and let the election take its course calmly, in order to avoid deaths and conflict as was the case in the 2007 elections when more than 1 000 people were killed and 500 000 people were internally displaced.
Irrespective of the outcome, the ALN will continue to support its sister-parties in fostering liberal values, not only in Kenya, but also across the continent. The Africa Liberal Network looks forward to continuing to build its relationship with the ODM, and looks forward to sharing its successes across the continent.
Zanie Ferreira (ALN Coordinator)