Credibility of Kenya's electoral body 'is seriously questionable'

15th September 2017 By: News24Wire

Credibility of Kenya's electoral body 'is seriously questionable'

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta
Photo by: Reuters

Kenya's electoral body must to be "sincerely reformed" before the presidential election re-run next month as its credibility to hold a free and fair vote "is seriously questionable", political analyst Benji Ndolo has said.

In a landmark ruling early this month, Kenya's Supreme Court overturned the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta, citing irregularities in the August 8 election.

The court called for a new election within 60 days, thus, paving way for a re-run of the vote on October 17.

In an interview with News24, Ndolo said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) must be "sincerely reformed" before the election re-run to avoid a serious "negative impact on the east African country's economy".

Ndolo said that there were a lot of issues at stake if the election re-run was again disputed.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga cried foul last month, claiming that a massive hacking attack had manipulated the results.

This was followed by a number of deadly protests in opposition strongholds.

At least 24 opposition supporters were reportedly killed by police after sporadic protests engulfed parts of the country.

"Certainly there are issues that were raised by the court. On this basis, the elections were annulled. Since the court ruling there has been a lot of resistance by the head of government President Kenyatta. But they are a lot of issues at stake so the electoral body has to reform," said Ndolo.

Ndolo said that in order for the electoral body to regain its credibility, some people had to be fired.

He added: "The electoral body should function outside of any influences of outside players."

Odinga recently called for the election commission to be disbanded, saying that he had lost faith in the current commission.

"In order for the commission to regain its independence and credibility there has to be a serious overhaul. Heads must roll. The institution has to be outside of the influence of any outside players. This is why the opposition has moved to have the chairperson moved and held accountable," said Ndolo.