Since June the EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) has been comprehensively observing the electoral process in Kenya. We have reported on progress and shortcomings, and plan to continue observing according to international methodology for election observation.1 The mission is independent and has no preference about who wins or loses.
In our most recent statement (16 October) we looked at actions taken in relation to 18 recommendations we made earlier for improving integrity in the re-run.2 We noted some progress by the IEBC but also areas that still warrant improvement. We noted that technical preparations are not the only requirement for credible and peaceful elections, with political dialogue and cooperation also being indispensible.
A lot has happened during the past week. Upon her resignation, IEBC Commissioner Akombe shared new information about the political pressure being placed on the IEBC. We note with regret the continued absence of meaningful political dialogue and call on all to fully respect Kenya’s independent institutions.
During this week calls have intensified for a delay in the election. Such a decision is for Kenyan institutions to make. The EU EOM emphasizes the importance of the election being conducted with integrity, in adherence to the constitution, and with respect for the rights of the Kenyan people.
In light of the tense political situation, we have reviewed how our mission can observe and contribute to the electoral process. This has involved political, methodological and security considerations. We have assessed the safety of our observers considering the extreme tension, disruptions of polling preparations, and strong criticism that has been made of the international community. Based on this, we have had to reconsider the extent to which we can observe across the country.
Therefore, the mission will have a reduced number of observers. Rather than giving a comprehensive assessment of election day and tallying, the mission will focus its observation on systemic issues, including results transmission and the availability of results forms. At the point when we have sufficient information on the process, we will present our findings for the consideration of Kenyan stakeholders.
We urge all Kenyans to respect the rule of law, the separation of powers and each other’s rights, safety and freedoms.
Please find below the list of earlier statements of the EU EOM:
Statement of the EU Election Observation Mission calling on Kenya’s electoral commission to promptly publish all results forms, for rule of law to be followed, and space for civil society (16/08/2017)