The unfortunate tale of election observers who changed their mind so fast
LESS THAN a week after the Supreme Court of Kenya ordered a repeat of presidential election, terming the version carried out on August 8 as riddled with “illegalities and irregularities,” foreign election observers, who had given the exercise a clean bill of health — even rating it as the best election they have observed in Africa for a long time — made an about-turn: That they had actually raised issues about the transmission of results!
While this change of mind is welcome to the side of the political divide that felt the observers were untruthful, it also begs many questions: What was the basis of a their preliminary conclusion? Why, for instance, was John Kerry, who was leading the Carter Centre so insistent on the supposed loser of the election to “accept and move on?” verdict?
We may never get the true — and incriminating — answers to these questions. That is fine. However, we are left to wonder which part of the final report to believe. More importantly, we are left asking ourselves why we need election observers who have two sets of answers to every challenge. perhaps the team sent by the African Union, the European Union and the Carter Centre expected to see some bloodshed and not finding any deemed the exercise free, fair and credible?
But on a local, dignified level: What must we do to render election observers not-socritcal a component of our elections?