Posted by: APO | 24 January 2008

STATEMENT OF THE PAN AFRICAN PARLIAMENT ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION TO KENYA’S GENERAL ELECTION HELD ON THE 27TH DECEMBER, 2007


STATEMENT OF THE PAN AFRICAN PARLIAMENT ELECTION OBSERVER MISSION TO KENYA’S GENERAL ELECTION HELD ON THE 27TH DECEMBER, 2007

 

 

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) dispatched a mission to observe national elections in Kenya that were held on the 27th December, 2007. The mission was in Kenya between the 22nd and 30th December, 2007 and it composed of four Members of Parliament, led by Hon. El Hadj Diao KANTE and two support staff. The mission covered the Eastern Province and the Nairobi precincts.

 

It shall be noted that, PAP sent a mission for the first time, in accordance with Article 3.11 to observe elections in line with its mandate as enshrined in the AU Protocol establishing same, that it shall seek to promote the principles of human rights and democracy in Africa; encourage good governance, transparency and accountability in member states.

 

The elections were held in accordance with Constitution of Kenya and its electoral law, under the supervision of the Elections Commission of Kenya (ECK).

 

In executing its duty, particularly during the pre-election period, the mission met with the various stakeholders. It discussed with the ECK officials the level of preparedness and the challenges encountered. Some political leaders demonstrated to the mission their state of readiness and the election observer community was generally satisfied with the work covered prior to the elections. The access to the media was free, particularly the private media. However, there were concerns from the opposition parties and accessibility to state media was stifled.

 

The actual election was characterized by a remarkably very high voter turnout, calm and orderliness (The Kenyan people were very enthusiastic in their resolve to exercise their democratic right). It is the mission’s considered view that the voters approach was inspired by Kenyan nationalism and patriotism as opposed to the tribalism which unfortunately became an issue during post election. Reported incidents of sporadic violence, irregularities of voters’ names missing were not so major to derail the smooth running of the elections. The polls were closed at 17h00 as per the law, however, provisions were made for voters still in the queue at closing time to cast their vote. The counting of the voters was equally peaceful and the results were announced and posted at the counting station.

 

All the results were finally transmitted to the ECK elections Results Center in Nairobi for tallying. The continued media transmission of the results, as and when they were released, gave some degree of transparency to the tallying process and until that free flow of the results was stalled midstream, for unknown reasons. Agitated political party agents engaged the ECK officials at the Tallying Centre in a heated confrontation, which got physical among political players in some instances. That skirmish ignited the mood of populace.

 

The premature announcement of the supposedly final presidential election results by the Chairman of the ECK Mr. Kivuitu at a remote and secured place was clearly stage-managed. It almost coincided to the hour with the swearing-in of the President of the Party for National Unity (PNU) Hon. Mwai Kibaki. However, not very long thereafter, Mr. Kivuitu somersaulted and stated that he did not know who won the elections because he was forced to make the announcement that he did, throwing the whole of Kenya into a state of chaos, mayhem and confusion. Thereafter, ugly violent scenes escalated. The whole scenario gave credence to the suspicions of the opposition, particularly ODM, that the rigging of vote had occurred.

 

It is evident that in the final stages of the electoral process, the independence of the ECK was compromised and its operations hijacted. It is the Missions considered view that the disputed election fell short of matching the democratic election process and the expression and the will of the people of Kenya. If the ECK’s Chairman Mr. Kivuitu’s latter statement is anything to go by, then it is regrettable that according to him, no one is supposed to have assumed the high office in the land, as yet.

 

Face to face negotiations should be held, urgently, between the two contending parties with a view to find a lasting peaceful solution. The mission, therefore, recommends with the greatest humility to the African Union Summit to seriously call for the establishment of a mechanism of governess that will lead to stop violence and restore peace. The committee’s view is that given the prevailing political situation in Kenya, an election re-run between the two Presidential candidates i.e. Kibaki and Odinga, would the most pragmatic and ideal solution to be considered. Furthermore, the mission humbly requests the AU heads of States and Government to look into a protocol that will deal with future revelations of the vote rigging by member states using state power, in the same light that it dealt with the condemnation of military coups in Africa.

Hon. El Hadj Diao KANTE

Leader of Mission



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