Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, Festus Mogae, said the country was now in a critical period as it awaits the results
Commonwealth observers to the 4 March 2013 Kenya elections have commended the peaceful nature of the poll and called for patience as the country awaits the results from the election management body.
At a press conference in the capital city Nairobi on 6 March, the Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group, former Botswana President Festus Mogae, released the Group’s Interim Statement on the elections. He said that on polling day the Group noted a large voter turnout, with some queuing to cast their ballot as early as 3am.
“We were very impressed by the enthusiasm of Kenyans who endured long periods of waiting in the blazing sun to cast their votes in an historic election, the first general election under the new Constitution,” he said.
The Group noted several incidences where electronic voter identification machines had failed, but that this was addressed by polling officials using the printed copy of the register, as provided for in the regulations.
Mr Mogae said the country was now in a critical period as it awaits the results.
“The results tabulation is ongoing and this is a critical part of the process. We noted that the electronic transmission of the results of the presidential elections experienced problems in some areas and later the Chair of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced that they would instead await the physical delivery of official results. We remain hopeful that the full results will be available within a reasonable period,” he said.
Mr Mogae added: “It is important to note that the results process is yet to be completed and should there be any legal disputes, they will have to be resolved using prescribed channels. Based on the process up to this point, the 2013 polls represent a major effort by the IEBC and other institutions to conduct genuine elections. We urge the IEBC to ensure clarity and to complete the process in a transparent and timely manner. We also urge all parties and their supporters to be patient and calm and continue to play their part as they have done so far and ensure that Kenya’s reputation is enhanced as a result of these elections.”