The European Union has accused Kenya of frustrating its efforts to present its reports on October’s rigged presidential election in the country.
The repeat election took place on October 26, after supreme court nullified the August 8 poll following NASA supreme leader Raila Odinga’s successful petition
EU chief observer Marietje Schaake said on Wednesday that she was forced to read the report from Brussels so as to meet guidelines for presenting a report three months after an 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,” she said in a televised briefing in Brussels.
“Besides presenting a final report to the government, EU EOMs normally organise discussions with political parties, civil society representatives, journalists and other stakeholders.”
She noted there was a persistent lack of trust in the institution of IEBC by the opposition and other stakeholders.
“Kenyans went from high hopes for these elections to many disappointments and confrontations. Kenya remains deeply divided,” she said.
“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.”
Key highlights in her report include intimidation by politicians of independent institutions such as the IEBC and the judiciary.
The report also cited use of excess force by security forces leading to deaths and serious injuries. The report also condemns Uhuru regime
for attempts to restrict civil society and media and abuse of state resources.
“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.”
Schaake called on Kenyans to push for reforms on improving the resilience of independent institutions, inclusive legal reform, improved ICT arrangements and IEBC oversight.
She also recommended a legal requirement for a comprehensive results framework and a review of the electoral system to promote the participation of women and inclusiveness.