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Civic groups studying pitfalls of last elections

The Consortium for Election and Research Advocacy (CERA) in partnership with the Uraia initiative has begun conducting a nationwide survey aimed at addressing the shortfalls of last year’s general election.

The survey which targets IEBC officials, Faith-based leaders, political parties’ officials and NGOs charged with conducting civic education will be conducted in randomly selected counties for the next one month.

Addressing the media in Bondo during the kick-off of the month long study, CERA team leader Andiwo Obondo disclosed that the findings and recommendations of the study will be presented to various election stakeholders in Kenya to better prepare for the 2027 general elections.

“In September we shall present our recommendations to election observers under the umbrella of Elog, donors hosted by the UNDP, the Civil Society Organisations under the Uraia and various government agencies charged with conducting elections in the country so that they can better prepare for the next general elections and avoid pitfalls of previous elections” Andiwo said.

Andiwo stated that the survey will take a three pronged approach namely the perception survey which will be conducted in 16 counties which have been randomly selected, the county consultation approach which will be done in eight counties and the opinion poll conducted through telephone interviews to randomly selected registered voters throughout the country.

He disclosed that the survey will also seek to address the low turnout of the youth in last year’s elections with the view of finding ways of encouraging the youth and women not only to turn up and cast votes but also to vie for various elective positions.

“Less than half of the 12 million registered youth turned up to cast their votes in the last general elections, their failure to cast their votes significantly contributed to the close calls between the two leading presidential candidates creating a dilemma of a “no clear” winner and ensuing court battles. We must find a way not only to encourage our youth to participate in vote casting but also to vie for the elective posts,” Andiwo stated.

The survey team leader further revealed that the study intends to find ways on how political parties can be used as vehicles towards achieving better election and democracy in the country by giving recommendations that would strengthen the political party’s nominations which significantly affect the general elections.

Andiwo observed that although civic education has been conducted since 1990s in the country, little can be shown about the impact of the civic education and therefore the study will focus on finding out why civic education is failing despite heavy investment made by both the government and other non-state actors.

“We want to find out why despite all the civic education there is always outcry after every election. We want to look at who are targeted with civic education, the scope of civic education and the election laws which may be used by individuals to manipulate election results irrespective of the fact that they have received civic education,” Andiwo observed.

By Brian Ondeng

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