The European Union Electoral Observer Mission to Kenya condemned police violence on civilians and stopped short of declaring Uhuru Kenyatta freely, fairly and democratically elected President in the Oct 26 repeat presidential election.
Instead, in its comprehensive report released in Brussels, Belgium today, the EU EOM called for wide ranging electoral reforms in Kenya.
It was reported that EU Observer Mission denied entry in Kenya forcing them to give their detailed poll report on the 2017 Kenyan Elections from Belgium.
Whereas EOM saw the Oct 26 repeat presidential election as generally well conducted, with full results data and forms being made available promptly, it decried NASA’s boycott of the same poll which it says resulted in a severely reduced turnout and an illegitimate landslide
for Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee.
Refusing to comment on Uhuru’s victory, Chief Observer, Ms Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament from the Netherlands was very measured in her comments.
“Kenyans went from high hopes for these elections to many disappointments and confrontations. Kenya remains deeply divided. Our final report and recommendations are intended to contribute to a better democratic process and a restoration of trust”
“But with every recommendation, leadership from those in power, support from the population, and cooperation between different fractions are needed in order to initiate reforms.”
The repeat presidential elections were boycotted by 69% of registered voters after the opposition withdrew its presidential candidate and refused to accept
the legitimacy of the electoral process.
The EU EOM report expressed concerns about disturbances from August to December 2017 involved some disproportionate actions by security forces
including the targetted use of live fire, costing dozens of lives and also reportedly involved sexual violence.
The report also said criminal elements and gangs too contributed to the violence including increasing ethnic dimension to the violence,
with ethnic profiling and threats witnessed in different parts of the country.
The EU EOM also highlighted Jubilee’s unilateral amendments to electoral legislation during the period of the fresh election, as well as their harsh rhetoric against the judiciary and acts of intimidation against civil society were highly antagonistic which they said were not consistent with
international commitments and good practice for democratic functioning.
The EOM’s 29 recommendations for reform include improving resilience of independent institutions, inclusive
legal reform, improved ICT arrangements and IEBC oversight, a legal requirement for a comprehensive results
framework, and a review of the electoral system to promote the participation of women and inclusivity.