Kenya

European Union Election Observation Mission to Kenya - General Elections 2013 Final Report

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Elections are over, but tasks remain ahead, EU observers’ report warns

NAIROBI, 29 May 2013 – The March 4 General Elections in the Republic of Kenya were a success overall, but several lessons should be learned from the difficulties that arose during the process, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) has concluded. The observer group, which followed Kenya’s election process from January, presented its Final Report today, after its Chief Observer returned to Nairobi to share his recommendations with the Kenyan public.

“During these challenging elections we have seen many positive achievements that Kenyans can be justly proud of, but we also observed several issues that need to be addressed in future,” Chief Observer Alojz Peterle said during a press conference in Nairobi. “I sincerely hope that the success of achieving a peaceful election will move Kenya forward. In the last five years this country has shown that it can overcome difficulties by learning from the experiences of the past. Our Final Report wishes to assist Kenya in this process, encouraging it to continue in its democratic development.”

The EU EOM’s Final Report reiterates the mission’s Preliminary Statement about the integrity of Election Day procedures. It adds, however, that the processing of the results lacked the necessary transparency, as party agents and election observers were not given adequate access to the tallying centres. Commenting on the ruling about the presidential results, the observers commended the work of the Judiciary, adding that its independence was vital for the success of the elections.

Based on its observations, the EU EOM lists, among others, the following recommendations:
• Ensure that all citizens can register and vote, and that marginalised communities are not left out;
• Review the legislative framework to implement Kenya’s constitutional gender equality principles;
• Improve the capacity of the IEBC, consider largerstaff numbers and better training;
• Improve the IEBC’s internal communication as well as its communication to the public;
• Launch civic and voter education programmes far earlier in the electoral cycle;
• Consolidate the existing Voter Register and all separate voter lists into one single register;
• Improve planning and implementation of the IEBC to addressthe different steps of the electoral
cycle in a sequenced and timely manner, making tallying transparent, efficient and easily traceable;
• Regulate the amount of money spent by candidates and parties during the campaign;
• Improve recruitment, training and payment of political party agents;
• Establish a clear demarcation of the jurisdictions for the bodies involved in dispute resolution.

The EU EOM has discussed its recommendations with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Amina Mohammed, Cord presidential candidate Raila Odinga, IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan and other key stakeholders. On Wednesday Chief Observer Alojz Peterle will host a roundtable for civil society, election experts and development partners to discuss priorities for enhancing Kenya’s future elections. The full text of the Final Report will also be made available for the public on the EU EOM’s website, at http://www.eueom.eu/kenya2013.

For further information, please contact:
Peter Visnovitz, EU EOM Press Officer
Mobile: +254 (0) 7249 68788, Email: info@eueomkenya.eu