, NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 31 – The African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) has lauded the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for making significant improvements in the manner in which it conducted the October 26 repeat presidential poll.
The mission led by the former South African President Thabo Mbeki acknowledged on Tuesday that the electoral body did its best in delivering a credible poll especially in the transmission of results.
“The Mission observed the detailed manner in which the results were verified at the national tally centre. Original Forms 34A and Forms 34B were checked one by one, and the verified results were announced thereafter.”
“At the completion of the verification process, the National Returning Officer compiled Form 34C and announced the final official result of the Fresh Presidential Election,” said Philip Attuaquayefio the Long Term Observer Coordinator while reading the Mission’s preliminary statement.
The Mission commended the polls body for cancelling the election in Opposition leader Raila Odinga strongholds after the IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati cited security concerns.
“The Mission notes the decision of the IEBC, acting on the basis of the provisions of Section 55b of the Elections Act, indefinitely to postpone polling in Homa Bay, Kisumu, Migori and Siaya Counties for security reasons. In the end, the IEBC announced that it was impossible to hold elections in those counties, due to ongoing insecurity,” said Attuaquayefio.
IEBC was unable to hold elections in most of the Nyanza region where 25 constituencies did not participate in Thursday’s poll due to a volatile security situation occasioned by violent protests.
The Mission further commended the electoral body for trying to meet Opposition leader Odinga’s demands which he described as ‘irreducible minimums’ prior to him pulling out of the race despite his name still appearing on the ballot paper.
“The AUEOM notes the announcement of the withdrawal by NASA presidential candidate, Raila Odinga and his running mate, Kalonzo Musyoka from the Fresh Presidential Election. This announcement was based on their assertion that the IEBC failed to address their demands for ‘irreducible minimum’ reforms.”
“NASA’s call for protests and for their supporters to boycott the polls was also noted. The Mission also notes the efforts made by the IEBC to address NASA’s irreducible minimums in its published response,” said Attuaquayefio.
The Mission also noted that the polls body was able to facilitate the process in spite of the harsh environment that was characterised by violence in some parts of the country.
“In its assessment of the polling procedures, the Mission notes that overall, the stipulated procedures for opening, voting, closing and counting were largely complied with. The Mission notes improvements in the technical conduct of the election, for example the availability of hard copies of the voters’ register at all stations.”
The Mission however condemned the acts of violence that were witnessed before, during and after the poll and urged all the parties aggrieved to seek legal redress within the stipulated timeliness.
“The Mission notes with concern the acts of violence in some parts of the country which prevented the conduct of election in such places. The destruction of property, injuries and loss of lives that were reported during these events is unfortunate and must be condemned.
“The Mission calls upon all parties that feel aggrieved by this election to follow legal processes in challenging any aspect of the electoral process,” said Attuaquayefio.
The mission assured that it will release a comprehensive report at a later date that will detail its input on the conduct of last week’s poll.
IEBC on Monday declared President Uhuru Kenyatta winner of the October 26 poll after he managed to garner 98 per cent of the votes which translated to 7.4million votes.