Now EU wants those who botched polls pros­e­cuted

The ob­server mis­sion had ear­lier praised the Au­gust 8 elec­tion process

Business Daily (Kenya) - - ECONOMY & POLITICS -

Ge­orge Omondi

The Euro­pean Union ob­servers have called for in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pos­si­ble pros­e­cu­tion of the elec­toral of­fi­cials for elec­toral mal­prac­tices that marred the Au­gust 8 Gen­eral Elec­tion as it pro­posed far­reach­ing re­forms for free and fair re­peat elec­tions.

In an in­terim state­ment pub­lished yes­ter­day, the EU team – which ear­lier praised the voter iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and bal­lot count­ing stages of the Au­gust polls– said se­nior of­fi­cials al­leged to have com­mit­ted elec­toral of­fences need to face the law.

Nasa has in­di­cated that it will pur­sue the pros­e­cu­tion of at least six top IEBC for al­legedly bungling the poll

The ob­server mis­sion made a raft of rec­om­men­da­tions to pro­mote ac­count­abil­ity and trans­parency in the re­peat pres­i­den­tial elec­tion set for Oc­to­ber 17, af­ter the Supreme Court nul­li­fied President Uhuru Keny­atta’s vic­tory cit­ing ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in the tal­ly­ing process.

Op­po­si­tion Nasa has in­di­cated that it will pur­sue the pros­e­cu­tion of at least six top IEBC of­fi­cials for al­legedly bungling the poll.

“There have to date not been any in­ves­ti­ga­tions against se­nior pub­lic of­fi­cers who have re­port­edly breached the law.” the EU team said in their state­ment.

“Fast, com­pre­hen­sive and ef­fec­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tions are needed so that there is in­di­vid­ual ac­count­abil­ity for ac­tions taken”.

Go­ing for­ward, said Chief Ob­server of the Elec­tion Ob­ser­va­tion Mis­sion (EOM) Ma­ri­etje Schaake, every con­stituency tal­ly­ing cen­tre needs to pro­ject and dis­play on real time en­ter­ing of data on form 34 B — which shows the con­stituency tally of Pres­i­den­tial votes — by ICT clerks for party agents to ver­ify what is be­ing tal­lied.

The ob­servers also noted that more than a quar­ter of polling sta­tions were late in post­ing on­line their man­u­ally com­pleted tal­ly­ing sheets or form 34A.

In some cases they only did so af­ter the legal dead­line for the op­po­si­tion to mount court chal­lenges to the re­sults had passed, they noted. About 30,000 scanned 34A forms out of 40,883 were trans­mit­ted on the elec­tion night.

The EU urged the elec­tion com­mis­sion to use stan­dard­ised forms with se­cu­rity fea­tures like se­rial num­bers to re­duce the op­por­tu­ni­ties for con­fu­sion in the up­com­ing polls.

It said the elec­toral board must do a bet­ter job of pub­licly ex­plain­ing the pro­cesses it would fol­low in count­ing, tal­ly­ing and trans­mis­sion of the votes.

“The re-run of­fers a key op­por­tu­nity for Kenya to cre­ate a more ro­bust democ­racy and rule of law,” the ob­servers said.

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