A look into the ELOG’s Statement on the Official 2022 Presidential Results

Today, the Election Observation Group (ELOG) had a press conference and their statement on the Presidential Elections. This is coming the day after the announced results and declared winner of the election. That’s why this is an important piece and as an independent organization and body, which have oversight of elections. Their words matters and their work says a lot about the election as a whole.

We know there will be people contesting and saying everything was rigged, stolen and grabbed for that matter. However, those are the ones that are dismissing or feeling betrayed by the results. They are in the first stage of shock and denial, instead of understanding the bigger picture. There have to be a winner and a loser. The winner now is the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) William Ruto. You might have expected Raila Odinga, but the results was marginally in favour of Ruto and that was enough. This is why the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IECB) Chairman Wafula Chebukati declared Ruto yesterday after many days of waiting.

Now, the ELOG statement of 12 pages is saying some things, but the main thing is verifying and showing that the elections was credible. In such a manner, that their words and tabulations of the results proves it too. That got to sting whatever defence and arguments the Azimio legal team has ahead of itself. I will show quotes from the Statement and then discuss it afterward.

Quotes from the ELOG Statement:

Based on its PVT and informed by its long-term and thematic observation, ELOG notes that, despite ongoing challenges and clear areas for reform, the 2022 General Elections registered improvements from the 2017 process and culminated in an enhanced open ·and secured results management process” (ELOG, 16.08.2022).

Voting on Election Day was relatively calm and organized with some marked improvements in voting operations and use of results technology. However, administrative and external problems persisted, such as the postponement of some elections on or just before Election Day, the inconsistent presence of voting materials such as the manual register, isolated incidents of violence, and the initial obstruction of observers” (ELOG, 16.08.2022).

Based on its findings, ELOG notes a significant drop in voter turnout compared to 77.7% in 2017 elections. Through the PVT, ELOG can confirm that both the turnout rate and the official results announced by the IEBC are consistent with its PVT projections” (ELOG, 16.08.2022).

Voter registrationELOG notes that the Commission failed to meet its target of registered voters. IEBC had targeted to register 6.o million voters through the enhanced continuous voter registration exercise but only managed to register slightly above 2.5 million voters. ELOG recommends that the Commission and the National Registration Bureau should consider harmonizing the voter register with the civil registry” (ELOG, 16.08.2022).

Election management and communicationsELOG noted that the IEBC improved its engagement and communication ‘A’ith different government agencies such as the National Police Service, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and Political Parties. ELOG also noted that the IEBC increased its public outreach closer to election day to provide periodic updates on the preparations and processes. On the transmission of results, ELOG commended IEBC’s effort of conducting two public simulations for the electronic transmission of results from the polling stations. ELOG noted that the simulation had its own successes and challenges” (ELOG, 16.08.2022).

Open data and access to informationInsufficient access to key election information in the pre-election period created challenges to transparency and the ability of stakeholders to mobilize in a timely manner. The final audited voters’ list was not made available for assessment to the public or civil society, nor was the full audit report by KPMG. In addition, access to the gazetted polling stations list came very late compared to previous elections, and details on the polling standard operating procedures were not easily available, which led to a lack of clarity for voters, observers and stakeholders leading up to election day” (ELOG, 16.08.2022).

Political party nominations and campaignsELOG noted that many candidates were disqualified for not meeting registration standards and procedures. Meanwhile, a lack of enforcement of chapter 6 of the Constitution allowed some candidates with integrity issues, such as corruption charges, to run for election. That said, our observation of the campaign process was indicative of a much calmer environment despite isolated incidences of hate speech, intimidation and violence, particularly during the party primaries. Of particular concern to ELOG was the targeting of the women aspirants for abuse consistently throughout the reporting period. In addition, ELOG received reports of the misuse of state resources and noted that disinformation, particularly via social media platforms, was rampant throughout the campaign” (ELOG, 16.08.2022).

Recommendations:

3. Provision of consistent civic and voter education (as provided by the Constitution) to ensure that voters are well informed of their rights and responsibilities.

4. Punishing electoral offenses and ensuring enforcement of code of conduct for political parties or candidates.

5- Ensuring consistent openness, transparency, inclusive participation and timely access to information by the I EBC and the other agencies concerned with election management

8. Ensuring the implementation and enforcement of the campaign finance regulation and timely electoral legal reforms to avoid giving an undue advantage to the incumbents.

9. Ensuring that the results transmission process is clear and understandable to all stakeholders and that the commission shares with citizens and other stakeholders the final elections results in a granular and machine readable format.

10. Maintaining simplicity and transparency of the Election Day processes as well accuracy and verifiability of the results management and transmission processes.

11. Ensuring the safety and security of voters, observers and other stakeholders throughout the electoral process” (ELOG, 16.08.2022).

My take on the statement:

These quotes are from the legitimate and the eyes on the ground. The ones that is following the whole process, the legal side and the practical side of it all. The Election Observation Group (ELOG) has seen it all and been there. That’s why this ELOG statement is important.

We are seeing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had it’s challenges before hand and after. The ELOG states the affair has been enhanced since 2017. It has also became secured. This election has been done without faults and that’s obvious. However, the quotes from the statement shows the growth and the manner of which was more transparent then ever before. Also, the show of integrity and finesse, which makes the announcement of the results credible. That in combination with the ELOG Tally of Results, which is so close to the IEBC pronounced results. This is saying something and showing it.

The IEBC should follow the recommendations and address the shortcomings to the next election. The National Assembly and the two Houses of elected officials should follow up on this and ensure legislation to secure the findings of the ELOG. That is to give more credibility to the next election in Kenya.

This statement shows a lot, but also show how far the IEBC has come. That’s why there are technicalities and errors made, but they are not in such a manner that you can easily “nullify” it. It is very compelling and that’s what some people want out of it.

Time will tell, but this Statement from ELOG is only showing what went down and addressing it. Which is mature and righteous. Looking forward to the whole report, which will be dropped within the next 60 days. Peace.

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Kenya: Ruto beat the odds…

I want to confess that I have been prayed into victory, it is not our effort. My team knows we were working against the odds”– President-Elect William Ruto (15.08.2022)

The former Deputy President and outcast high ranking offical William Ruto was working against the grain. There was nothing the state did nor the elites did for his campaign. The state, dynasties and everyone else for that matter was on the side of Azimio.

This time around everything was going according to plan for Raila Odinga. He was vouched for by the most Governors. He was supported by a broad-based coalition and had the Party of the outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta on his side. Odinga had the backing of so many people and parties. You would think that would be enough. Clearly, it was close, but just not enough.

Ruto was able to build his own party and campaign to this extent. While the Odinga team went calculated ahead. They had the different bases and the possibilities to reach all corners of the Republic. However, the whole platform and candidacy didn’t resonate. If it had… Ruto wouldn’t have marginally won.

This defeating the dynasties and the elites. They were all lined up for Odinga. Maybe the cruise-control and thinking it was in bag… was the reason for the down-fall of the campaign. Some has even said he sold himself, but not what he wanted to do. That’s why Odinga possibly lost.

We know there will be all sort of politicking in the days ahead. It is starting right now and been going on since the Azimio camp left Bomas. That was inevitable why Odinga never showed up. He knew the gig was up and he had to play differently.

Ruto beat him against all odds. This is possibly the final campaign of Odinga and the last time he could stand. This time he had the backing and the support of which people can dream off. That is something Ruto knows. Because, Ruto had it similar in the 2017 elections. That’s why Ruto knows what he stood up against.

Even if the National Assembly is “hung” and not a clear majority. That will make it harder for Ruto. Though the UDA has the Senate and will have close to half of the House. The same can be said about the governors too. Therefore, this term will be interesting…

We know a Presidential Handshake made a difference in the previous term. Hopefully, the institutions and the integrity is to trust. Because, time will tell now or if Baba will go as the “People’s President”. That is up to him, but Ruto defied the odds.

Yes, he has been part of the government for 10 years, but also been ditched and left alone by his partner, the outgoing President Kenyatta. So, Ruto showed character and ability to sell his story. He was able to tactically win and ensure a majority. Even if the majority is as slim as it can get.

We all know this would feel different, if one of them won by a landslide. However, that wasn’t the case and this is why the Azimio wants to contest the results now. The Kenya Kwanza Alliance members can feel good and vindicated for being part of the campaign. They have won their ticket and becomes part of the government.

So, Ruto didn’t win this alone, but he did so with Moses Wetangula and Musalia Mudavadi. These are the leaders to look out for. They were able to gain enough votes and become the victors. It is their day today. These folks can celebrate and rightfully so. Peace.

Opinion: The game to discredit IEBC is now on

Today, the game is now on… the politicking and the way of using the Presidential Elections results in their favour or not. Tonight the leaders of Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Alliance will build their case and petition the Supreme Court. While the team of spokespersons, elected officials and activists will all dismiss what went down. They will tarnish the Chairman Wafula Chebukati and the whole Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). This was started with the walk-out and the improvised Press Conference outside of Bomas earlier today.

Now, as the closest election in living memory. The one that United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Presidential Candidate William Ruto won by the smallest margin. This was as narrow as it can get. It wasn’t a landslide and certainly not as big as you should expect. The end of it all is that there was just enough of majority to pull it off.

We will certainly see all the people from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and the allies of the Azimio, all putting on a performance and ensure the stories are correct. They will do whatever to make it “nullified”. That is the mission now, as the National Super Alliance (NASA) did in the 2017 elections. This is the game-plan and they got to sell those ideas to the people as well. They have to make it believable this time.

It will be harder to do so. Haven’t the Azimio been part of the whole process from the local tallying and accepting the results, which has come to the National Tally centre? Haven’t the Azimio team been part of the different streams and ensured the protocols was being made fra 34A-34B to the final 34C.

That’s the game here and they have to prove the malpractice now. They have to state with definitive doubt that something shady was going on. When the whole data is already uploaded to the server and the 34A’s are accessible. They are not in a hidden server and the data isn’t in some far-away algorithm. No, it is in plain sight. That’s why it’s harder to prove mischief and say it was rigging.

The Azimio team now has to prove it and I remember reading the paperwork for the nullification of the 2017 elections. The same has to be done now. They have to show it and properly do so. There has to be more than hearsay. It cannot just be grievances and tears. The Azimio team has to come to court with evidence and witnesses. Until then… the declared winner is Ruto.

That is the game and Odinga knew this. He has been here before and we knew something was up when he wasn’t coming to Bomas today. Baba would have showed up, if he believed the results would be in his favour. However, he dipped out, because he rather build a case and ensure people believe his case.

This is what is happening now and we should await a petition to the Supreme Court. The Azimio team better assemble and collect all evidence they have. Because, the IEBC has this time been smat as well. By the ability to point at the server of all 34A forms. This is why it isn’t all talk and making the results questionable.

So, expect everyone in Azimio to try to dismiss, distort and discredit the IEBC. That is a given and they got too. They have to change the perception and make it believable that it was a mirage, and the IEBC tricked everyone. That’s what they will be doing and it’s so obvious. Peace.

Opinion: Will Baba go back to his ordinary “Playbook” of electioneering again?

Raila claimed yesterday that they had tallied and won; today, they claim that this is the most mismanaged election they have ever witnessed. After politicians, fear politicians again!” (Jonah Kirabo, 15.08.2022).

Saitabao Ole Kanchory: We have intelligence reports, their system was penetrated and hacked. As I said before, Bomas of Kenya is a scene of crime” (Jicho TV Kenya, 15.08.2022).

Saitabao Ole Kanchory: We have intelligence reports that their system was penetrated and hacked and that some of the IEBC officials actually committed electoral offences and some of them ought to have been arrested if they were not arrested” (Citizen TV Kenya, 15.08.2022).

UPDATE: Azimio officials demand to see presidential election results, verify them before asking Raila to attend announcement event at Bomas. Says Chebukati has been elusive today” (EAMGtv, 15.08.2022).

The 9th August 2022 General Elections have been successfully done. Now the Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Alliance spearheaded by 5 time Presidential Candidate Raila Odinga. There are rumours and speculations to why he isn’t showing up to Bomas for the announcement of the winner of the Presidential Elections.

This election haven’t been like the previous one for that matter. In 2017 there was secret serves, agreements, interference from the well-versed Cambridge Analytica and other matters that made it possible to “annul” or make the results “null and void” in the Supreme Court. In 2022 on the other hand. Whatever results that is proclaimed today at Bomas is much harder. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has published the 34A Forms on their server and it’s public for everyone to make a tally. Therefore, the counts and the votes are in the public. It takes much more to scrutinize now.

So, if the Azimio calls it quits and says there been tampering. If the Azimio claims of electioneering and rigging. The now Governor-Elect James Orengo and team better have evidence and proof of the mischief. Because, the Azimio has seen the process and is calling out the team now. It is also rare that the candidate isn’t showing up in defiance. That’s a sign that Odinga knows there is only bad news ahead.

That’s why this election is different and IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati has played this one out softly. He knew he would be in trouble if he winged it or made amends. The IEBC had to be clear and play by the rules. Yes there been plenty of days since he ballots was cast. The die was already cast. The verdict was to verified and ensured. Especially with postponement after mismanaged procurement of ballots to certain counties. That was later fixed, but the whole picture is good with the small malfunctions that were. Therefore, the characteristic of “rigging” and “electioneering” now seems like a losers excuse.

It is hard to imagine that Odinga lost. Because, he had the whole system, government and everyone who mattered behind him. He had a broad coalition, a huge platform and a career as a solid politician. However, that was possibly not enough and it didn’t resonant with enough people. The elites might wanted him and they cherished him, as he joined hands with Jubilee and was the candidate of Kenyatta.

Nevertheless, it is now possible that Ruto will be announced and proclaimed winner of the 9th August 2022 elections. That’s why Azimio before that is calling it out and dismissing it. Saying it was fabricated and fixed. This being hard to say… when everyone with a calculator can access and count on an excel spreadsheet with the 34A forms, if they like.

The IEBC used these days from the 9th August to the 15th August to verify the results. To do the checks and balances. So, it is rich to ask for evidence and proof of verification as the results are announced. That sounds a losers game and delegitimizing the whole affair. This seems like the game-plan ahead of a possible litigation. The Azimio knows the bad news and is therefore going back to scheduled programming. That being claiming it was “rigged” and taking it to the Courts.

The Azimio team is right taking it to the Courts. However, dismissing it and not entertaining the affair. Just show the bitterness that you yet again lost an election. The election of your life and the final straw in your long career. This was Odinga final journey and he could never reach Canaan. Maybe his son Joshua can, but he himself? Doesn’t seem so.

Raila Odinga and his team should reflect on themselves. They can build a case and show their evidence. However, this election has all been mature and shown character of all parties. That shouldn’t be destroyed now. The confidence of the IEBC is strong and the resilience is clear. The indication of anything else… is just hearsay right now.

That’s why it’s tragic to be like this in the moments ahead of the declaration and announcement of the winner of the Presidential Election of 2022. Peace.

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Ethiopia: Abiy plans to export wheat – while several of regions are hit by famine…

We are hearing reports that a Ship is on its way to Ethiopia carrying Wheat, and that famine is looming. All this is false information aimed at pre-emptively sabotaging the credibility of our Wheat export plans” – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali (14.08.2022).

The wheat will go to WFP’s operations in #Ethiopia. It’s one of many areas around the world where the near-complete halt of Ukrainian grain & food on the global market has made life even harder” (Abiy, 14.08.2022).

The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed Ali is claiming and down-talking yet again humanitarian aid. It isn’t many months ago when he spoke ill of “wheat-aid”. Therefore, this is one of his pet-pees and issues he wants to settle. The PM can want to be self-sufficient and be able to produce enough food for the Republic. There is nothing wrong in that and everyone should strive on it.

If we prevent wheat aid from entering Ethiopia, 70% of our problems will be solved. Ethiopia main problem is aid wheat. Together with aid wheat diseases and many other problems comes with. Stopping aid wheat means resolving most of our problems. After stopping aid wheat, we can create touristic areas. For example, can build a cafeterias in this place like we saw earlier today. Tourists go to Cape Town and South France. In our case. It’s sitting idle” – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali (October 2021).

However, in 2022 and at this very time… the United Nations or Humanitarian Organizations aren’t undermining the authorities or the Prosperity Party for that matter. No, they are just coming with aide to the ones in need, which isn’t only in the Tigray region that has been besieged for months. No, they have to go Somali (Ogaden) region, parts of Oromia region and Afar region too. There are so many people who needs help across the Republic.

OCHA reported it like this ten days ago: “The overall humanitarian situation in Ethiopia has significantly deteriorated in 2022 leading to increased humanitarian needs across the country due to ongoing conflict and violence, and climatic shocks such as the prolonged drought. More than 20 million people are to be targeted for humanitarian assistance and protection this year. Nearly three quarters of them are women and children” (OCHA, 05.08.2022).

There are millions of people who needs it now. Yes, there are fields that grows wheat in Ethiopia. However, that is clearly not sustainable or able to cope with the needs of the Republic. That farmers and the Ethiopian agriculture is able to produce and expand their production is fine. Nevertheless, that doesn’t solve the crisis or the famines which are occurring.

These famines aren’t created to undermine or create distress for the Prime Minister. No, they are either happening because of the policies of the Republic of blocking humanitarian aide to the Northern Ethiopia, in general to the Tigray Region, or it’s happening because of prolonged drought and climate, which no one controls. Even if the Prime Minister has promised technology to create rain the other year. Clearly, buying drones and bullets for his war has been more important to his whole reign.

We are seeing the attitude and the charisma of a self-absorbed man. Who thinks he can solve everything on his own. A man who don’t want interference and want to be self-sufficient, but doesn’t have the tools or ability to see the struggles now. Maybe the years in the Palace in Addis Ababa has made him forget about the plights of the commoner. Because they are struggling from the tip of Ogaden to the end of Tigray. He clearly don’t mind their issues and think the imported wheat is there to destroy his vision.

However, the wheat imports is only to save the lives of civilians within his Republic. He should be happy it is coming. Nevertheless, that’s too much to ask for a man who clearly don’t value those lives or the suffering of the citizens as a whole. Peace.

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