Kenya Elections fail to meet International Standards- C'wealth
Kenya Elections fail to meet International Standards- C'wealth Website
The elections in Kenya failed to meet International Standards and their Electoral Commission has not succeeded in establishing the integrity of the tallying process, bringing the validity of the results into question, an expert group of the Commonwealth said on Thursday. "This was despite the many positive aspects of the pre-election and polling day procedures, when Kenyans came out in large numbers to vote," the Final Reports of the Commonwealth Observer Group for the 2007 general elections in Kenya said. On issuing the report Don McKinnon, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, said: "The Commonwealth Observer Group has concluded that the process after the close of polling did not meet International standards." The Secretary-General said "We are deeply saddened and troubled by the appalling incidents of violence in the wake of the elections, and the large-scale loss of life and displacement of people which followed. This underlines the importance of ensuring that the integrity of the entire process is beyond question, and it shows the consequences when the confidence is perceived as lacking". He said "What is vital now is for the parties to come together to find a resolution to the grave problem... have spoken to President Kibaki and Raila Odinga, making clear my distress about the violence and loss of life, encouraging dialogue, and stressing that the Commonwealth remains fully engaged and will support on-going mediation efforts." The report highlights the failures of the electoral Commission of Kenya in its handling of the results process. Looking to the future, the Secretary-General said: "It is vital that the national election management body enjoys the full confidence of all political contestants. The Commonwealth stands ready to work with Kenya to look at ways of reconstituting the Electoral Commission of Kenya along the lines of Commonwealth best practice, to ensure that political and public confidence in the body can be restored". The report was completed and signed by all members of the Commonwealth Observer Group team prior to their departure from Kenya. It was presented to the Commonwealth Secretary-General by the leader of the Group, Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, the former President of Sierra Leone. Before being made public, it was distributed to the Government of Kenya, political parties, the Electoral Commission of Kenya and all other Commonwealth Governments.