Carter Centre tells Kenya to undertake electoral reforms

Written By: Collins Anampiu/Margaret Kalekye
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The Carter Center team monitored key parts of the electoral process
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Kenya has been urged to make necessary electoral reforms before the 2022 general elections.

In its report on the review of the 2017 poll the Carter Centre argues that without meaningful reforms, there’s a likelihood that the political upheaval witnessed last year may crop up in future.

“The process should be guided by principles of inclusion and shared values grounded in the country’s constitution” the report recommends

The report says unrests and violence coupled with harsh attacks by top political leaders on IEBC and the Judiciary greatly undermined the independence of the institutions and the rule of law.

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The observer team led by former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry found that the voting and counting processes during the August 8th election were generally well-administered.

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However, the team notes problems during the subsequent processes of electronically transmitting polling station results and tabulation of results at county-level tallying centers.

The team has recommended a comprehensive review of the electoral and legal framework, including for party primaries and electoral dispute resolution to address gaps and inconsistencies identified by various groups during the 2017 election cycle.

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It now wants Parliament to consider extending the deadline for the Supreme Court to resolve challenges to the results of a presidential election from the current 14 days to a minimum of 30 days.

This according to the team would allow for a thorough consideration of all issues and sufficient time to conduct a recount if necessary.

The Center’s final election report is based on the reporting of Carter Center experts and long-term observers on the ground from April through November 2017.

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The Carter Center team monitored key parts of the electoral process, including the party primaries and candidate nominations, voter verification, campaigning, electoral preparations, and electoral dispute resolution.

The core team of experts was joined by a large group of short-term observers to monitor voting, counting, and tallying in the days surrounding the Aug. 8 election.

Because the Oct. 26 rerun election was marked by increased insecurity, an uncertain political environment, and an opposition boycott, the Center deployed a smaller limited observation mission, which did not cover all areas of the country.

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