1 November 2017

Kenya: We Can't Tell If Kenya's Repeat Presidential Poll Was Credible - Elog

Photo: Jeff Angote/The Nation
Supreme Court Justices (file photo).

Local observers says they cannot state whether the October 26 repeat presidential election was free, fair and credible.

However, the Election Observation Group (Elog) on Wednesday said the absence of party agents in polling stations, save for Jubilee Party’s, as well as absence of observers may have compromised the outcome of the poll.

LEGITIMACY

Elog noted absence of non-partisan observers and party agents also compromised the transparency and accountability of the voting and counting processes.

The repeat election, the observers said, may not have been conducted in line with the Supreme Court order that it be done in strict adherence to the Constitution and applicable laws.

"On the basis of the above challenges, it is not possible to authoritatively state whether IEBC complied with all the directions of the Supreme Court ruling and the law pertaining to elections,” Ms Regina Opondo, Elog steering committee chairperson said.

Elog also observed that the postponement of election in 25 constituencies due to insecurity, violence and tension served to disenfranchise millions of Kenyans who were eligible to vote.

The Constitution provides that a presidential election shall be conducted in each of the 290 constituencies across the country.

But the IEBC said it would not hold elections in parts of Migori, Siaya, Kisumu and Homa Bay, saying it was satisfied that even if the over 1 million took part in the poll, the outcome would not change the final results.

On legitimacy, Elog said it is not within its mandate to determine whether President Kenyatta’s victory is valid.

Ms Opondo said that only the Supreme Court can determine that.

In terms of transparency, “it was apparent the commission did not share information on all the required processes and often gave mixed messaging, which further dented confidence in IEBC.”

REGISTER

The observation group also said voter register remains a contentious issue that must be addressed.

This came as it emerged that the voter register was publicly shared a day to the election.

“This was in contravention to the spirit of the Elections Act that requires adequate time be accorded to the voters to verify their details,” she said.

Preliminary findings from Elog’s voter register audit indicate that IEBC has not managed to fully clean up the roll after the KPGM audit.

For instance, Elog noted that 81,024 voters had duplicate identity card numbers or passports while over 60,000 others were also found to have identity-card records with more than eight numeric characters.

The observation group also decried the failure by the authorities to deal with perpetrators of the election violence and urged the Director of Public Prosecutions Mr Keriako Tobiko to investigate cases of assault and killing of civilians in the run-up to and after the election.

“So far no official report has been issued by the authorities. Kenyans, survivors, their families and communities should be assured that the State does not condone violence committed by the police or any other measures necessary to end impunity for the violations,” she said.

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