Use legal processes for repeat election disputes, says AU’s Thabo Mbeki

The African Union Election Observer Mission has urged parties that feel aggrieved by the repeat presidential election to follow legal processes in challenging any aspect of electoral process.

Led by the former South African President Thabo Mbeki, the Mission said that the tone at the Bomas of Kenya during the announcement of the presidential results indicated that legal interventions could be sought.

DIALOGUE

Mr Mbeki said that IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and President Uhuru Kenyatta were clear that after the election process was completed, dialogue could take place.

“Following the announcement of the IEBC, the Mission calls upon all parties that feel aggrieved by this election to follow the legal process in challenging any aspects of the electoral process,” he said.

The former South African president said that their duty was to observe and report truthfully on what took place.

On the issue of credibility, Mr Mbeki said it was a matter of political judgement.

“That is a matter of making political judgement and there is no such thing, no objective something, called credibility that we can say we observed credibility,” he said.

VERIFICATION

He said that in the final statement that will soon be released, the Mission will reflect on matters of political determination that need to be addressed.

The Mission also lauded IEBC for the process of verifying results before declaring results.

Mr Mbeki said the Mission deployed observers to 20 selected counties where they visited 195 polling stations spread across 71 constituencies.

The long-term observation coordinator, Philip Attuquayefio, noted that stipulated procedures for opening, voting, closing and counting were largely complied with.

“The Mission notes the operational and administrative efforts by the IEBC to prepare for the election within a challenging, frequently changing and unpredictable political and legal environment. This could have impacted the credibility of the fresh presidential election as acknowledged by the chairperson of [of the] IEBC,” he said.

Mr Attuquayefio said there was an amended transmission and tally procedure, which included the use of scanned images.

PRELIMINARY FINDINGS

However, the transmission of numbers was discontinued by the IEBC because the particulars of other candidates added into the process as a result of a court judgement could not be loaded on the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (Kiems).

The Mission raised concern over the acts of violence in some parts of the country, which prevented voting.

He added that these were preliminary findings and not a statement on its overall assessment of the repeat presidential election.

“AUEOM will continue to observe all electoral developments and provide a final detailed report on a later date,” said Mr Attuquayefio.

He added that the African Union was ready to help Kenya as they navigate the post-election period.

Missions hope credible voting process will be reflected in final results.

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