Elections Observation Group (ELOG) has launched their final observation report for the August 2022 general elections in Kenya that aims at providing a sustainable platform for monitoring and observing electoral processes.
ELOG, an organization that is committed to promoting citizen participation in the electoral processes through non-partisan and impartial domestic observation and objective reporting of elections, presented the report dubbed “From the ballots to the portal” to stakeholders at a hotel in Nairobi.
Speaking during the launch, ELOG Secretariat National Coordinator Mule Musau, noted that they have been observing the entire electoral process through a comprehensive long term observation, media monitoring for hate speech and electoral violence monitoring.
“ELOG closely monitored the pre-election environment processes since January 2022 and this entailed deploying one long-term observer in each of the 290 constituencies, 40 media monitors and 46 electoral violence monitors who were observing and reporting on the pre-election environment in different regions across the country,” said Musau.
He also noted that on political parties and electoral campaigns, findings were based on improved party nominations process, integrity on internal party processes, and increased misinformation/disinformation and hate speech during the campaigns especially through social media.
“The recommendations that were given towards these findings include developing firm internal affirmative action policies, review of the internal governance structures to ensure member participation and strong regulation framework on social media,” said Musau.
He highlighted that the key finding in voter education was inadequacy and under-funding of the voter education process and recommended that voter education should target a wider reach especially to special interest groups, introduce voter education in institutions and robust engagement of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
In his remarks on electoral legal framework, he stated that the key findings involved last minute amendments to addressing the recurring gaps in low campaign finance and 2/3 gender rule.
Further, Musau added that the recommendations in the direction of these findings point to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Parliament and related stakeholders spearheading legal reforms early in the electoral process and the need for a robust public engagement on issues of changes in the electoral system.
“On electoral security there were three major findings including improved preparations and training by security agencies for the elections, hot-spot mapping, early warning and preparedness and public alterations between the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) and National Police Service (NPS) over drafting of charge sheets,” he revealed.
Musau, in his presentation, listed down the recommendations towards electoral security which included NPS comprehensive investigation and prosecution on individuals who contravened electoral laws and enhancement of collaborations between CSOs, security agencies and local actors in mitigating conflicts.
“The recurring issues since 2010-2022 are perceived lack of independence and trust of the Electoral Management Body (EMB), non-implementation of critical laws, challenges in the employment of technology and increased cost of election,” he commented.
Musau mentioned that the IEBC, the Judiciary, Parliament and the Police are the main institutions and actors involved in any election process.
He further thanked the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) and Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) for their participation in the elections by preparing journalists and media houses well for elections.
Stakeholders present at the launch included IEBC Commissioner Abdi Guliye, Registrar of Political Parties Ms. Anne Nderitu, Representative from the Judiciary Committee on Election (JCE) Edwin Mulochi and ELOG Co-convener and Senior Counsel Joyce Majiwa.
By Edna Okoth and Irene Mwende