July 21, 2019

Carter Centre all praises for IEBC ahead of Kerry’s arrival next week

With 9 days remaining before Kenya heads to the polls, The Carter Centre which is monitoring Kenya’s elections has released a report highlighting the high’s and low’s of the election preparation.

The US election monitoring body is under the stewardship of Former US Secretary of State John Kerry.

The Centre on Thursday in a pre-election report lauded Kenya for “strengthening democratic culture” but on the flipside, warned of possible election violence.

“The Judiciary has also played a key role in contributing to a democratic and competitive electoral process,” reads the report in part as reported by Daily Nation.

“At the same time, the Centre maintains genuine concerns about the level of violence that has prevailed throughout the pre-election period.

Incidents of violence, incitement and the harassment of candidates and their supporters are unacceptable infringements of democratic norms,” reads the report further.

The Centre noted that violence during and after August 8 polls could be precipitated by “chaotic” and “shambolic” party primaries conducted in April.

Further, “Underlying socioeconomic and political tensions arising from land injustices, marginalization and disenfranchisement” could trigger election violence.

But, reads the report further, Carter Centre is encouraged by effort made by both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his challenger Raila Odinga in calling for an end to political intolerance and rallying voters to exercise harmony even as they take different political stands.

IEBC has also been lauded for meeting tight legal deadlines even in the face of many court cases against it in the past months.

“The IEBC has still met most of the legal deadlines and has moved forward with preparations for elections. The Carter Centre commends the IEBC for its effort.”

Carter Centre which established by former US President Jimmy Carter took a swipe at sections of people who have challenged IEBC’s capability to conduct free, fair and credible elections.

“Unfortunately, some of the candidates have used the court challenges to criticize its authority and competence in an attempt to delegitimize the IEBC,” the report adds.

IEBC commissioners were, however, faulted for failing to communicate adequately and lacking sufficient transparency in decision making.

The centre also faulted the poll agency for failing to act to all recommendation by KPMG which audited the voter register.

The commission has been called upon to test its election technology before polling day to avoid a repeat of 2013 where BVR kits failed the last minute.

Members of the election monitoring body have so far visited 37 counties and monitored over 50 political rallies since mid April.