AFRICA/KENYA - Religious Kenian confessions: "The Electoral Commission must assure a credible vote"

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 elections  

Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - "The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should focus on the coming elections by ensuring that they put their house in order first. Do not drive with the rear mirror on. You do not have to wait for the full Supreme Court judgment because you already know your weakness", said Dr Francis Kuria, IRC Executive Director of the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya (IRC), speaking during a public consultation forum on the presidential election on October 17. These elections were announced after the Supreme Court invalidated those that were held on 8 August, won by outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta (see Fides 9 August and 1/9/2017).
The Executive Director of the IRC therefore intervened in the ongoing debate in Kenya on the alleged shortcomings of the Independent Electoral Commission in handling the August 8th elections, denounced by the opposition, NASA (National Super Alliance), whose candidate, Raila Odinga, had filed an appeal to the Supreme Court which resulted in the annulment of the vote.
It is above all the electronic voting system handled by IEBC which is at the center of the controversy. NASA claims that unknowns manipulated the results by manipulating the system. The Supreme Court has not yet published the reasons behind the annulment of the vote, and it is therefore premature to speculate on any shortcomings of IEBC. "IEBC must show Kenyans that they are going to do things differently this time round and must improve their systems and their infrastructure so that Kenyans can believe the results", said the Executive Director of IRC. He noted that the religious leaders will continue to dialogue with the IEBC officials to ensure that Kenyans have free, fair and credible elections.
National Super Alliance (NASA) Chief Executive Officer, Norman Magaya said that the coalition will not participate in the forthcoming polls if no changes are made at IEBC secretariat.
The Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, in addition to the National Council of Churches of Kenya, also sees the participation of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, the Organization of African Instituted Churches Kenya, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims, the National Muslim Leaders Forum, the Hindu Council of Kenya and the Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Association. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 13/9/2017)