NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 4 – The Carter Centre which was part of the groups observing Kenya’s March 4 General Election says that the result reflected the will of voters.
In a report, the centre says that in spite of shortcomings in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) management of technology, the use of forms 34 and 36 was enough to guard the result.
The Carter Centre has however appealed to the IEBC to conduct an internal evaluation of its handling of the voter register and an audit of its vote tally procedure to avoid the difficulties experienced in the concluded election.
“The IEBC should conduct an internal review of its handling of the voter register and an audit of its tally procedure in order to avoid these deficiencies in future elections. Despite serious shortcomings of the IEBC’s management of technology and release of information, The Carter Centre finds that the paper-based procedure for counting and tallying presented enough guarantees to preserve the expression of the will of Kenyan voters,” the report said.
The report of the 60-member delegation has also criticised the IEBC for confining party agents and observers to the gallery of the national tally centre at Bomas of Kenya thus making effective observation impossible.
The centre has challenged IEBC to carry out proper checks on provisional results to avoid confusion as was initially experienced in the display of rejected ballots that had hit 300,000.
“In the absence of access to compiled documents and to IEBC personnel, the national tally of the presidential results forms was effectively rendered non-transparent for stakeholders and observers.”
“In future elections, the centre strongly recommends that the IEBC design a tabulation process that accommodates both the security and transparency of results,” the report further states.
The report also faults IEBC’s failure to publish election-related procedures to the public in a timely manner in advance to allow for stakeholders to audit results by various election officials.
“In future elections, the centre recommends that the IEBC ensure that regulations and procedures regarding transmission, receipt, and data processing are communicated to electoral stakeholders well in advance and guarantee full access to the national tally centre as stated in subsidiary legislation and recommend by both Kenya’s international obligations and electoral good practices,” the report asserts.
The centre has congratulated Uhuru Kenyatta on his election and praised outgoing Prime Minister Raila Odinga for taking his concerns with the conduct of the election to the Supreme Court and accepting the ruling.
Last Saturday the Supreme Court ruled that the election was free, fair and within constitutional confines.
It also ruled that the rejected votes should not have been included in the calculation of the final tally of votes attained by each presidential candidate.
Kenyatta’s swearing-in will be conducted next Tuesday at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.