The Eastern Africa Standby Force -Election Observer Mission (EASF-EOM) expressed satisfaction on proper opening procedures in most stations visited during the August 9, 2022 General Election as prescribed by the Election act 2011.
Speaking on Thursday at a hotel in Nairobi, Advisor to EASF-EOM Ambassador Claude Morel from Seychelles stated that EASF-EOM deployed 20 observers from eight EASF countries in nine counties.
The counties that were monitored included Eldoret, Kisumu, Nairobi, Isiolo, Nakuru, Garissa, Mombasa, Kajiado and Nyeri. The team visited a total of 122 constituencies.
The mission recorded 94 percent of the stations opened on time. The six percent late opening was mostly attributed to delays in organizing, delivering, and arranging of electoral materials at the polling stations.
“Kenya Integrated Elections Management Systems (KIEMS) kits jammed in some polling stations delaying the opening of polling and in most stations, it also caused a significant delay in processing voters,” said Morel.
He pointed out that the election materials were available in sufficient quantities in all polling stations visited. Ballot boxes were observed to be well sealed.
“We noted some logistical challenges relating to misplaced ballot papers, such as ballot papers for Member of County Assembly (MCA) in Fafi Constituency were erroneously sent to Chuka Igamba Ng’ombe in Tharaka Nithi County, while those for Tiaty County Woman Member of National Assembly in Baringo County were sent to Lamu County,” said Morel.
Morel added that the Commission observed that the turnout was generally low in most polling stations, slightly above 60 percent, far lower than 80 percent in the previous elections.
Morel revealed that women were the majority amongst the electoral personnel and representatives of political parties at the polling stations.
“EASF-EOM has recorded 62 percent women electoral officials in the 122 polling stations visited. There was also a large number of young people working as polling officials,” he stated.
Morel noted that EASF-EOM was concerned with some of the isolated incidents of violence and voter intimidation. This calls for leaders to respect the law and to avoid any form of violence or unlawful actions.
“EASF-EOM advises IEBC to take immediate action to organize voting to areas where it was suspended due to error on ballot papers,” he said.
He said that EASF-EOM recommends the government to continue and intensify efforts to open dialogue aimed at promoting an atmosphere of confidence building between all stakeholders including all actors in the republic of Kenya.
By Rita Muthoni