Carter Center defends monitoring assessment, commends court

NEW YORK

The Carter Center on Friday defended its election-monitoring assessments and praised the Supreme Court for “conducting an open and transparent judicial process”.

The US-based NGO said it “affirms the observations and conclusions in its August 10 and Aug 17 statements”.

In its first statement, the Center found that the election-day voting and counting had proceeded smoothly but added that electronic transmission of the results had proved unreliable.

VERIFY
A week later, the Center urged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to publish result forms transparently so that the integrity of the entire election process could be verified.

“In both statements,” the US monitoring organisation said on Friday, “the Center stressed that the electoral process was not yet complete and that an overall assessment could not be given until its conclusion, including the resolution of any electoral petitions”.

But former US Secretary of State John Kerry, the co-leader of the Carter Center’s Kenya election monitoring team, praised the IEBC’s performance in an August 10 comment.

DEFEAT
Mr Kerry also implied the same day that Raila Odinga should accept his apparent defeat and “move on”.

“I know what it’s like to lose an election,” Mr Kerry said then at a Nairobi news conference.

Noting that he had been narrowly defeated by George W Bush in the 2004 US presidential race, Mr Kerry said he had “a lot of reasons to complain about what had happened” with the election process in some states.

“But you gotta get over it and move on,” he advised two days after the Kenya presidential election.

OBSERVERS
Also on August 10, Raila Odinga expressed disappointment with Mr Kerry’s role and that of other election observers.

The Nasa presidential candidate suggested that monitors had concentrated on the voting and tallying processes but not on the transmission of the results.

“I think that the observers have not helped Kenyans resolve this dispute,” Mr Odinga said in an interview with CNN.

“They have confounded it by giving basically an approval to a fairly flawed process….and therefore I am very disappointed with John Kerry and the other observers.”

FULL JUDGMENT
The Carter Center said on Friday that it is now “incumbent on all Kenyans to accept the [Supreme Court] ruling and prepare for fresh elections”.

It also urged the court to “release its detailed ruling as soon as possible so that it can inform the new election process going forward”.

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