Kenya Electoral Body to Meet Over 2013 Election

Kenya votersSenior officials of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) plan to meet Monday to take stock of last week’s general election.

“We have to look at the results that we did announce. There are areas especially at the lower level where we had to cancel the election because the ballot papers were not done properly. Then we have to look at why our biometric voter identification system did not work [and] we have to look at why the results transmission did not work,” said IEBC Commissioner Ambassador Yusuf Nzibo.

“Overall,” continued Nzibo, “we were very impressed with the voter turnout. It was unprecedented. We were very impressed with the way the voters behaved and also after the elections, the way Kenyans restrained themselves either in celebration or in mourning.”

The IEBC declared Uhuru Kenyatta, son of the country’s founding leader, president-elect with 50.07 percent of the vote.

But, Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) party claims it has evidence of voter irregularities during the presidential election. The party has assembled a team of lawyers to legally challenge the election outcome at the Supreme Court.

Nzibo says CORD is within its legal rights to challenge the results of the elections as enshrined in the constitution.

The constitution stipulates that parties have one week to legally challenge an election and the Supreme Court would have two weeks to rule on the challenge before the president is officially installed.

Nzibo says at least two electoral officers have been arrested out of the more than 500,000 temporary poll officials employed to help the IEBC administer the balloting.

Local and international poll observer groups said the general election was peaceful and credible.

Nzibo says the electoral body has kept its promise to administer a credible vote, despite the logistical problems the IEBC encountered during last Monday’s elections.

“We believed we have delivered our mandate, despite the various challenges,” said Nzibo.

Kenya’s media has called for reconciliation among the political and ethnic leadership following the conclusion of last week’s poll.

“The win was narrow, I must say and it appears that the country is divided by half. So, whoever will take over power would have to work very hard to make sure that all Kenyans are united and that we are past the elections because in any election, there has to be a winner and a loser,” said Nzibo. VOA

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