International Election Observers Speak on Kenyan Elections

The two main contending candidates

International Election Observers present in Kenya for the 2017 presidential elections have in an August 9 statement appealed to all citizens to remain committed to peace and the integrity of the electoral process.

Bodies on the International Election Observation Mission include: African Union (AU), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Commonwealth, East African Community (EAC), European Union (EU), International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) and The Carter Center (TCC).

The Observers “urge candidates and parties to use the legally provided channels of dispute resolution in case of any dissatisfaction with the process and to urge their supporters to remain calm.”

The call comes after violence cases have already broken out in the country in areas of Kisumu and Homa Bay where Police have dispersed crowds of youths who staged protests over alleged electoral fraud in favor of President Kenyatta.

Reports show that some of the affected businesses were major supermarkets, banks, markets, eateries, schools and small-scale businesses, which closed down out of fear of attacks and looting.

This followed earlier results which revealed that Kenya’s incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta had taken a strong lead, with 55% of the vote against 44% for his rival, Raila Odinga.

However, the opposition coalition has rejected the partial results, saying election officials have not produced documents to prove their validity.

Odinga flatly rejected the preliminary results as “fictitious” and “fake” while arguing that the election authority’s systems had been “hacked” to manipulate the results in his rival’s favor.

The observers have thus “called upon the security agencies to provide appropriate protection, and avoid excessive use of force.”

To win outright, a candidate needs more than 50% of the vote and at least 25% in 24 of Kenya’s 47 counties. If that threshold is not met, a run-off vote between the top two candidates will be triggered.

Voting for the national and local assemblies has also been taking place.

In a statement, the Observers asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to continue within the constitutionally provided timeframe, the tallying with full integrity and transparency so that all Kenyans can trust the announced results.

“We call on parties and their supporters to follow the tally process within the provisions of the law as the IEBC continues finalising results based on forms 34A. We note the stated commitment of the IEBC to make scanned copies of forms 34A available to candidates and the public,” reads the Observers’ statement in part.


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