Annan team urges electronic voting for Kenya

May 20, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – The Kofi Annan-led Panel of Eminent African Personalities is urging Kenya to adopt an electronic voting system for the 2012 elections.

A survey conducted on their behalf by South Consulting firm concludes that “electronic voter registration will enhance the integrity of the voting system and reduce the costs associated with manual registration and voting.”

“And because a national infrastructure to support e-registration and e-voting is in place, evidenced especially by use of mobile telephony and a broad GSM coverage, the Commission should embark on establishing an electronic system to support e-registration and e-voting for the 2012 General Election and before the interim Commission winds up its activities,” reads the report in part.

In the latest score card released on Wednesday the Panel urged the government to support the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) to transparently establish a framework for an electronic voting system in all the constituencies “– of course depending on the outcome of the pilot phase.”

Currently IIEC is piloting Electronic voter registration in 18 constituencies in an exercise that ends tomorrow and targets to register 1.5 million Kenyans.

The commission had said it was considering rolling out the system across the country but said this would have to contend with voter perception on technology and funding.

The commission estimated it would require close to Sh10 billion to implement the system.

On the ongoing constitutional review process the panel has urged the country to enact a new Constitution which it says will open opportunities for far reaching reforms.

“If passed at the referendum and implemented, the proposed Constitution has the potential to extensively change the framework of governance and politics in Kenya,” said the report.

“It will transform the state and its institutions in a number of important ways. It will open a new window to undertake even more far-reaching changes in the country.”

There is a need therefore for vigilance over the review by all Kenyans desirous of achieving change to ensure that it remains on track and safe from the sectarian threats that are coalescing around perceived unresolved issues, the report said.

The report has indicted the government for relegating the welfare of the Internally Displaced Persons who it says has remained forgotten.

It also contends that the lack of coherence within the Coalition Government remains a sticking point owing to lack of a clear mechanism for resolving disputes as well as absence of a framework to guide how the parties would operate within the coalition

Download the full report by South Consulting here.


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