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Kenyan businesses lobby for peaceful 2017 elections

03 August 2016, 19:00

Nairobi (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan business community will partner with lawmakers to advocate for transparency, peace and accountability during the August 2017 general elections, officials said on Monday.

Speaking after a roundtable meeting on Monday with members of the Kenyan Senate, officials from Kenya private sector alliance (KEPSA) said free, fair and peaceful polls are essential for stability and economic growth.

KEPSA chairman, Dennis Awori said the business community and lawmakers have agreed on a raft of resolutions to ensure the forthcoming polls are carried out in a peaceful and transparent manner.

"The private sector has found a common ground with members of the senate to facilitate peaceful general elections next year bearing in mind that political stability is an essential component of economic growth," Awori said.

The Kenyan business lobby has engaged different arms of government to advocate for policy and regulatory reforms aimed at improving governance and investment climate.

Awori said the private sector will actively engage the executive and legislature to hasten reforms in the electoral process.

He added that KEPSA will spearhead implementation of public outreach programs to ensure August 2017 polls are held in a peaceful environment.

KEPSA CEO, Carole Kariuki, said Kenya's vibrant institutions such as legislature and judiciary offers a bulwark against risky political transition.

"We have faith in our institutions whose strength and resilience is guaranteed in the new constitutional dispensation. Our dialogue with lawmakers aims to ensure there will be no election related violence next year," Kariuki said.

Kenya experienced massive capital flight, destruction of property and shrinking investments during the 2007-8 post election violence.

The private sector was instrumental in facilitating an end to the political impasse occasioned by contested results of presidential election.

Kariuki noted that KEPSA-led grassroots campaign for national unity contributed immensely to a peaceful political transition during the 2013 general elections.

- Xinhua

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