EU EOM releases final report and makes 29 recommendations for reforms in Kenya to improve future elections.
Please view the remote press conference of 10 January in Brussels here.
Brussels, 10 January 2018
Chief Observer, Ms Marietje Schaake, Member of the European Parliament from the Netherlands, comments: “Kenyans went from high hopes for these elections to many disappointments and confrontations. Kenya remains deeply divided. Our final report and recommendations are intended to contribute to a better democratic process and a restoration of trust. But with every recommendation, leadership from those in power, support from the population, and cooperation between different fractions are needed in order to initiate reforms.”
Ms Schaake noted an improved performance by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), with a more transparent results process in October, but also a persistent lack of trust in the institution by the opposition and other stakeholders. Other key concerns are intimidation by politicians from both sides of independent institutions, such as the IEBC and the judiciary, some violence by opposition protestors and the use of disproportionate force by security forces, attempts at restricting civil society and media, and abuse of state resources by both sides but mostly to the benefit of the national incumbent.
Ms Schaake added: “We hope the recommendations in our final report will contribute to more resilient democracy from which all Kenyans benefit. This takes time to build up, which is why it is important that steps are taken promptly to improve the legal framework, institutions and practices.”
The EOM’s 29 recommendations for reform include improving resilience of independent institutions, inclusive legal reform, improved ICT arrangements and IEBC oversight, a legal requirement for a comprehensive results framework, and a review of the electoral system to promote the participation of women and inclusivity.
As previously agreed with the Kenyan authorities, the EU EOM has published its final report within three months of the 26 October election. The report was released in Brussels after the Kenyan government stated it was not prepared to receive the Chief Observer in Nairobi at this time. Besides presenting a final report to the Government, EU EOMs normally organize discussions with political parties, civil society representatives, journalists and other stakeholders.
All EU EOM observers are bound by a code of conduct, which requires strict neutrality and non-interference. The EU EOM undertakes its work in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation.
The Chief Observer noted “The EU EOM came to Kenya after being invited by Kenyan authorities. We have looked at how electoral rights under Kenyan law and Kenya's commitments under international law have been upheld. We look at how this election has ultimately served the Kenyan people. Our report and accompanying recommendations are the result of comprehensive observation of the electoral process, beginning in mid-June 2017.”
All of the mission’s reports and statements can be found here: https://eeas.europa.eu/election-observation-missions/eom-kenya-2017_en
Please find below the list of earlier statements by EU EOM Kenya:
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)