, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 10 – The African Union (AU) Elections Observer Mission in Kenya has expressed concern over the large number of rejected votes saying more voter education should have been conducted.
Speaking during a press conference, former South African President Thabo Mbeki who heads the mission states that many voters did know the parameters to use when marking the ballot paper resulting in mistakes.
Mbeki says the stringent rules of the IEBC also contributed to the number of rejected votes despite the intention being clearly seen in the mark that the voter made.
“In the polling stations where we were, the presiding officer and the party agents rejected a number of those ballots and when they showed them to us, what we would find is that a voter has ticked a particular box and ninety percent of the tick would be in the box while the rest had spilled over to another box,”
He explained that when using a tick, it was clear that eighty percent of the vote was on the required box while the rest spilled over into another box and this resulted in spoilt votes
“Now certainly to me, it looked a bit odd where ninety percent of the mark is in one box while ten percent is in another box. I think the intention of the voter is quite clear but that is my view,” he said.
He however commended the IEBC for conducting the polls in a free, fair and peaceful way a sentiment echoed by the East African Community Observer Mission.
The mission called on all Kenyan to be patient as as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) finalises the verification of election results.
Speaking during a press conference, Head of the Mission, Edward Rugumayo commended the IEBC for a job well done and appealed to all the candidates to accept the results.
He stated that they met with electoral body’s officials who reiterated that their system was not hacked.
“The EAC observation mission would like to commend the people of Kenyan for conducting a peaceful electoral process. The Mission commends the IEBC for their professional conduct and the security agencies for ensuring that overall law and order prevailed,” he stated.
He stressed that from the EAC Mission standpoint, the elections were free and fair.