Observing the U.S. Election: Nairobi, Kenya

Election Events: U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya

As submitted by embassy staff

Embassy Nairobi hosted a U.S. Elections party on the morning of November 8, beginning at 5 a.m. in Nairobi, to coincide with election returns as they came in.  Approximately 1,000 people, including prominent Kenyan politicians, several student groups, and more than a dozen media houses, attended the event.  The Embassy set up a dozen television screens with U.S., international, and Kenyan news feeds for guests to watch the returns.  The party had a mock ballot and voting booth, and announced the results of a mock poll in which 500 guests participated.  There was information on USAID democracy and governance programs, posters with the U.S. electoral map, and information on the presidential candidates, along with a lot of food and drink.  The Charge d’Affaires, Robert F. Godec, spoke after the U.S. media had called the election, highlighting the peaceful process in the United States and expressing U.S. support for free, fair, and peaceful elections in Kenya in 2013.  The event was covered live on all of the major Kenyan television stations and by print and radio journalists.  Kenyan media covered both the U.S. election results and how the U.S. elections held lessons for the upcoming Kenyan elections on the November 7 and 8.  The link between the U.S. and Kenyan elections was made largely due to the high profile event at the Ambassador’s residence.

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