AU observers give mixed signal on Kenyan Presidential elections outcome

Nairobi, Kenya  (PANA) - The African Union (AU) is not in a position to determine whether the Kenyan Presidential elections were credible but it was conducted in accordance with the law, African Union Election Observer Mission Chief, Thabo Mbeki, said on Tuesday.

"We have not given any clean bill of health to anything. We just said what we observed," Mbeki said when the African Union presented its preliminary report on Kenya's repeat Presidential elections.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was declared winner of the Presidential elections on Monday, with 98.26% of the vote, or 7.4 million votes out of 7.6 million votes cast on Thursday, 26 Oct. 2017.

The opposition coalition, the National Super Alliance  (NASA), boycotted the elections, citing failure by the elections body to accommodate its request for a more transparent process.

The AU observer mission said acts of violence prevented the conduct of the elections in four counties, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori and Kisumu.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission  (IEBC) Chairman, Wafula Chebukati, announced the postponement of the elections in the counties before announcing the winner of the polls on Monday.

The observers said the transmission of the results was also conducted within the laws and regulations governing the elections.

Mbeki said all parties aggrieved by the announcement should once again proceed to challenge the elections in court.

The AU observer mission could not make any judgements on the legitimacy of President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose elections in a process largely ignored by majority of 12 million voters continue to raise doubts.

"We reported what we observed," Mbeki said. "There is a matter about making political judgement. In our case, the people to make political determination on the legitimacy or otherwise is the African Union. We are reporting what we observed."

The observers visited 71 constituencies to observe voting and visited the headquarters of the IEBC to check on the relay of the elections results.

Mbeki said he was not in a position to comment on demands made by the NASA, which insisted on its irreducible minimum reforms, among them having its team access raw poll data before announcement of results.

"It was their right to think about what would contribute to a proper election. We took note of the fact that the point was made," Mbeki added.

The AU said it would assess the credibility of the entire election within the context of the inclusive participation of all citizens.

"The AU Charter on democracy, good governance and political participation is against political exclusion of anybody," Mbeki said.

"Based on the Charter, we will assess what happened within that context. They may well include inclusion," he added.

The civil society bodies in Kenya rejected the elections and the announcement of the results, saying President Uhuru Kenyatta should not claim credibility of the vote when a majority of the voters did not participate.

"There is a looming crisis of leadership. We reject calls for another election in 90 days. Kenyatta lacks clear legitimacy and we do not know the effect the economic boycott would have on his Presidency," said a civil society coalition calling itself "We the People".
-0- PANA AO/VAO 31Oct2017

31 october 2017 15:47:37

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