Washington, DC – IRI today announced it will monitor Kenya’s December 27, 2007, presidential, parliamentary and local elections.  Delegates will travel to Kenya to monitor voting and ballot counting throughout the country.  Following the voting, IRI will issue a statement on the findings of the delegation.

IRI’s delegation will be led by Constance Berry Newman, IRI board member and former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.  Other delegates are Hussein Ahmed Aideed, Member of the Executive Committee of Somaliland’s Party for Unity and Development and Member of the National Registration Committee; Joel Barkan, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Iowa; Omer Jama Farah, Member of the Executive Committee and Political Officer of Somaliland’s Union Democratic Party and a Member of the National Registration Committee; Irena Hadžiabdic, Member of Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Maureen Harrington, former IRI Program Manager for Southern Africa; Abdillahi Said Ismail, Member of the Executive Committee of Somaliland’s Justice and Welfare Party and a Member of the National Registrarion Committee; Anne Itto, Deputy Secretary General for the Southern Sector of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Party (SPLM); Simon Kun, Member of the Interim Political National Bureau of the SPLM and head of the South Sudan Humanitarian Relief Commission; Sylvestre Somo Mwaka, human rights activist and assistant to the President of the Independent Electoral Commission in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Ronald Nehring, Chairman of the California Republican Party; Ambassador Lange Schermerhorn, former U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti; Brad Smith, Chief of Staff to Congressman David Dreier; and Bushara Hussan El Tali, Deputy Secretary for Training and Capacity Building of the Sudanese Liberation Movement.

Prior to the elections, delegates will be briefed by the U.S. Ambassador, representatives of the United Nations Development Program, the Electoral Commission of Kenya, head of electoral security, Kenyan political parties, and experts on Kenyan politics.  They will also be briefed on the rights and responsibilities of international observers and Kenyan election law.  Delegates will then be deployed throughout the country where they will monitor polling stations and identify and evaluate strengths and weaknesses in Kenya’s election system, including campaign regulations, the balloting process, vote tabulation and reporting.

IRI staff will also serve as observers and assist in the mission. IRI staff will be led by Elizabeth Dugan, Vice President for Programs; and Stephanie Blanton, Regional Director for Africa.

In Kenya, IRI works with political activists to help them develop campaign agendas that address voters’ concerns.  IRI works with Kenyan media outlets on how to interpret and report on opinion research data.

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