Kenyan polls were credible and transparent – Election Observer Missions
By David Indeje On August 10, 2017
Election observer missions have said the voting process in the Kenyan polls was credible. Marietje Schaake, head of the European Union’s election observer mission said that the EU mission’s final report would evaluate the conduct of the tallying process, which opposition leader Raila Odinga said had been compromised by hackers.
However, she said there had been no signs “centralised or localised manipulation” of the voting process.
The EU EOM Chief Observer noted, “Kenyans can be proud of their participation in the democratic process and should continue following the rule of law throughout the results process. Candidates and their supporters must accept that not winning is a natural part of a democratic competition. Any irregularities or challenges to the process and outcomes should be addressed through petitions and the courts. All Kenyans benefit from strengthening Kenya’s democracy.”
David McAllister, Head of the European Parliament delegation commented, “After such competitive elections, it is now time for Kenyan politicians to bring the people together and work towards an inclusive and socially cohesive society for all Kenyans. As parliamentarians, we know that political parties have an important responsibility in this process.”
The African Union Election Observer Mission (AUEOM) and the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) said voting and counting of votes at the polling stations was credible. Commonwealth observer mission chief John Mahama said the electoral commission -IEBC needs “to be commended” for the way polling was run.
Mahama said the whole process was “credible, transparent and inclusive”.
“We hope conclusion of process will serve as inspiration for ‘rising tide of democracy’ in Africa,” he said.
The African Union observer mission chief Thabo Mbeki said he was”pleased” citing the polls as,”The people were permitted to vote in a manner which met the standards set in Kenya law, which was also consistent with the policies of the African Union.”
“Similarly the process of counting the votes at the polling stations was done in a transparent manner with the participation of the agents of the political parties. The forms reflecting this information were then signed by both the IEBC Presiding Officers and the party agents.”
Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he was convinced the whole process transparent and urged all parties to work within the rule of the law.
Kerry and Former Senegal PM Aminata Touré of Carter Center are leading a mission of election observers who have monitored the vote and its aftermath.
“The streets do not offer grounds to solve disputes,” he said. “The test of this election is truly straightforward. The tallying process is the test if it will show meaning to the choice of the voters. The integrity of the process remains verifiable through Form34As.”
The bottom line is that IEBC put in place processes that were credible. That is what is important to the Kenyan vote. It is the paper ballots that tell the result of this election and not the electronic transmission. When this IEBC process is followed to the end, it will give confidence to the outcome.”
Kerry said, “Kenya has made a remarkable statement to Africa and the world about its democracy and the character of that democracy. Don’t let anybody besmirch that.”
“We call on all candidates to work within the rule of law to challenge these elections where they have evidence,” he emphasised.
Toure, said, “ These elections marked progress and they were much peaceful than the previous ones.” “IEBC must continue its work to the end.”
“However, while there were no incidents on Election Day, the brutal murder of Chris Msando is still a fact. It must be fully investigated,” she said.
However, both missions urged the IEBC to respond to the numerous queries being raised and urged those with disputes to follow the law and guidelines in place.