The African Union election observer mission is yet to comment on the credibility of the repeat presidential election despite having said that the polling and tallying of results was smooth.
Chairman of the mission, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, declined to endorse the controversial October 26 election, giving room for speculation on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 98 percent victory.
Mbeki, however, said the mission was yet to comment because it was still assessing the poll based on AU’s Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance which describes the manner in which member nations are required to conduct elections.
“We are not making any judgment on the credibility of this election now. We will assess what happened here in our final report and give our recommendations soon because the leadership of Kenya would like to look at them,” he said.
He also added that the AU’s Charter policy statement on elections requires the governments of each nation to facilitate “inclusive processes” for all citizens to participate in the poll.
“Countries should provide peaceful conditions for people to participate freely and without hindrance to participate in selecting the government of their choice.”
This will be the focal point in the African Union Election Observer Mission determining the poll’s credibility as the polls were marred by low voter turnout thanks to National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga who told his supporters not to participate in the elections.
There was voting done in the opposition stronghold counties of Homa Bay, Kisumu, Migori and Siaya due to insecurity which prompted IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati to indefinitely postpone elections in those regions. That decision was backed by the African Union Mission.
Another election observer mission, the EAC, led by former Ugandan Speaker Edward Rugumayo also failed to give a thumbs up to the process.
Rugumayo, in the mission’s preliminary results, said the election’s credibility will be determined when they access the results transmission.