Thursday March 7 2013

Observers credit Kenya for transparent election


Monitor Correspondents

Three foreign observer missions have given the country a thumbs-up for conducting a peaceful, transparent and credible election.

The African Union, European Union and Commonwealth observer groups said they were satisfied with the manner in which voting and counting took place in most of the places they visited.

In their preliminary reports released separately, the teams, however, noted a few hitches as Kenyans continued to eagerly await the final tally of the presidential vote.

Former Mozambique president Joaquim Chissano headed the AU group and said even though they recognised the role played by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in conducting voter education, it was simply “not fully satisfactory”.

Asked whether the rejected ballot papers should be included in the final count, which determines the winner of the presidential poll, Mr Chissano said the law must be followed at all times. The Commonwealth, on the other hand, said the failure of the electronic voter transmission process should not delay the release of the official presidential results as this may cause anxiety among Kenyans.

Former Botswana president Festus Mogae, who heads the group, said the chaotic political primaries created unnecessary pressure on the electoral commission, leading to challenges especially with ballot printing.