Kenya: AU observers endorse Kenyan polls conduct

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - African Union (AU) election observers said Wednesday they reserved the right to make further comments on the outcome of the Kenyan Presidential election, but affirmed the credibility of the process had not been brought into doubt despite challenges posed by the opposition.

“We can say that the processes we were able to observe, up to and including the counting of the votes at the polling stations and their transmission to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) met the standards set by Kenya and the AU for the conduct of democratic elections,” the AU said.

The AU observers initially issued a statement on the election on 10 August, a day before the release of the Presidential election results, saying the process was credible and transparent.

But Kenyan opposition leaders termed the endorsement premature because it was made before the election results were declared and that the AU observers were not neutral in their report.

The National Super Alliance (NASA) deputy chief presidential agent, James Orengo, said the AU observer leader, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, and former US Secretary of State John Kerry should have been vetted before being allowed to monitor the polls.

Some opposition leaders have accused the former Ghanaian president of harbouring political vendetta against opposition candidate Raila Odinga for being close to the current Ghanaian President.

Kerry, on the other hand, was alleged to have close business relations with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government.

The AU Election Observer Mission (AUEOM) said it continued with its work as the electoral process has not yet been completed. “It therefore reserves its right to make such other additional comments as might be necessary.”

After reviewing all conditions obtaining during the electoral process, the AU observers said on Wednesday that the opposition leaders should move to court with any other challenges.

However, Odinga said the AU observers exceeded their mandate by initially asking him to concede defeat way before the results were announced.

Odinga’s agents declined to sign the forms before the IEBC announced the presidential results.

Odinga had challenged the IEBC to allow an external examination of its servers to ascertain that there was no hacking, which introduced a formula to alter the results and permanently keep the results at 11%.

NASA stated that the figures it cited to prove Odinga had been elected as President, with more votes than Kenyatta, were drawn from - “The actual and complete data contained in IEBC servers."

-0- PANA AO/AR 16Aug2017

16 august 2017 18:47:29

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