Kenyan Opposition Sets Preconditions for Credible Election Re-Do

  • Opposition wants thorough audit of elections technology
  • Kenya set for repeat presidential election on October 17
Kenya’s main opposition set a series of conditions it said are necessary for a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential vote to be credible, as it accused the electoral authority of preparing “another sham election.”

The conditions include replacing personnel at the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission who “abetted fraud” and live media coverage of results declarations at the country’s 290 constituency tallying centers, National Super Alliance co-leader Musalia Mudavadi told reporters Thursday in the capital, Nairobi.

Kenya’s Supreme Court on Sept. 1 annulled the Aug. 8 presidential vote, in which President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner, after finding there were “irregularities and illegalities” in the process. The ruling marked the first time an African court overturned the results of a presidential election. The rerun, set for Oct. 17, has increased uncertainty in East Africa’s biggest economy as it clouds the outlook for the country, where growth is already slowing.

Mudavadi said the commission is failing to acknowledge that court had found it culpable. The opposition won’t accept the printing of ballots by Dubai-based Al Ghurair Printing & Publishing, whose contract for last month’s vote was challenged in court before finally being allowed. Mudavadi shared a letter he said had been sent to IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati that called for the “thorough, independent transparent end-to-end audit and quality assurance” of elections-technology systems before the vote.

‘Illegalities, Irregularities’

“The commission wants to proceed as if the illegalities and irregularities never happened and as if it were never indicted by the same Supreme Court,” he said. “We see no evidence that the commission is making a good faith effort to conduct a fresh election that fulfills the letter and spirit of the judgment.”

A European Union observer mission on Thursday also urged the electoral body to allow independent scrutiny of its computer servers and technology systems to help guarantee the rerun is fair and credible.

The opposition alliance, led by Raila Odinga, has threatened to call supporters onto the streets to prevent the rerun from taking place if the chief executive officer of the commission refuses to step down.

The commission on Monday signaled it won’t change its executive body, announcing that “one team with a common vision” will handle the election, with CEO Ezra Chiloba being charged with assessing the “implementation challenges” in August’s vote.

Source: Bloomberg


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