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Chebukati: Coups a threat to Africa’s democratic gains

Former IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati
Former IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati

The wave of military coups being witnessed in Africa is a setback to the continent’s democratic gains.  

Ex-IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati attributes the coups to lack of transparency in electoral processes.

Channel 1

In late July, 2023, President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger was ousted in a military coup that was preceded by a string of similar military takeovers in West African nations of Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali.

In Gabon, army officers Wednesday also announced that they had seized power and deposed President Ali Bongo who is now calling on his friends globally to “make noise” on his behalf.

President Bongo’s overthrow in effect ended his family’s grip on power that spans over 50 years.

The army officers have already announced the annulment of last Saturday’s contested election results in which President Bongo was declared the winner and named General Brice Oligui Nguema as the country’s transitional leader.

According to Chebukati, the situation in the affected countries could be much different had electoral processes been more transparent through the inclusion of electoral observers.

“The avalanche of election related military coups in Africa disrupts democratic gains. In most of these elections, Observers were excluded from the electoral process,” Chebukati observed.

“Election Observers are necessary as they contribute towards transparency & accountability of an election outcome.”

Back home, the Opposition has roundly condemned the ex-IEBC Chairman accusing him of bungling the 2022 presidential poll.

In fact, the outcome of the poll in which the Raila Odinga led Azimio outfit lost to Kenya Kwanza, is now set to be audited by the Kalonzo Musyoka and Kimani Ichung’wah led National Dialogue Committee.

However, in a paper that he recently presented titled, “Role of Technology in Improving the Integrity of the Electoral Process in Kenya,” Chebukati has termed the 2022 poll as the freest, fairest and most credible election that has ever been held in the country.

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