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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