ELECTION OBSERVERS’ MIXED REPORTS
Election observer groups have delivered mixed messages as to whether or not Kenya’s October 26 presidential election was administered effectively or not.
The African Union observer mission under the chairmanship of former South African President Thabo Mbeki has to date been reticent in adjudicating the matter one way or another.
Whilst noting that there was a smooth voting process in most areas and that the tallying of votes was also effective, the AU mission have yet to publish their assessment as to the overall conduct of the election process.
The AU mission however, supported the decision by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati to indefinitely postpone the elections in Homa Bay, Kisumu, Migori and Siaya becuase of the security situation in those areas being a threat to both voters and IEBC officials.
Thabo Mbeki also noted the improved technical conduct of the 26 October election compared that held on 8 August through the provision of hard copies of the voter register at all polling stations.
Another Africa-based mission, the East Africa Community election observers under the leadership of former Ugandan Speaker Edward Rugumayo gave the polling and tallying process a clean bill of health, but the EAC group have also yet to deliver their verdict as to the credibility of the results transmission conducted by the IEBC.
The Election Observer Group, ELOG, which describes itself as a ‘group of local observers’ and which deployed 2,196 observers across the country on election day, has questioned the credibility of the election.
ELOG have called for the election process to be audited, citing ‘malpractices and electoral offences’ involving multiple registration of voters, voter intimidation and the harassment of election officials.
EU – ‘GREATLY IMPROVED’
The European Election Observer Mission gave a far more positive assessment assessment of the 26 October poll.
The EU noted that the IEBC, whilst working in difficult circumstances but declared the tallying process to have been ‘greatly improved’.
The IEBC, said the EU observers, had improved the administration of the August 8 election through the standardisation of results forms and greater transparency of the tallying process at the constituency level.
The EU also said there was a significant improvement in the online results transmission and better use made of mobile network providers and modified software.
Following the election on August 8 all the international observer missions declared the election to have been free and fair leading to criticism from opposition politicians and some civil society activists.