NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya should embark
on reforming the electoral system to make it more transparent and inclusive in
order to reduce political tensions that escalated during the country’s last
electoral cycle, said the European Union election observer mission (EU EOM) in
its final report on Kenya’s 2017 elections released on Wednesday.
noted that Kenya’s ability to heal from political and economic crisis that
intensified during last year’s prolonged election season hinges on sweeping
reforms to ensure future polls are free, fair and transparent.
Schaake, the Chief Observer and Member of European Parliament from the
Netherlands, said that Kenya has an opportunity to reform its electoral
processes as a means to guard against political and economic upheavals in the
“We hope the
recommendations in our final report will contribute to more resilient democracy
from which all Kenyans benefit. This takes time to build, which is why it is
important that steps are taken promptly to improve the legal framework,
institutions and practices,” Schaake said.
The EU was
among foreign observer missions that deployed personnel to monitor August 8 and
October 26, 2017 repeat presidential polls in Kenya.
In its final
report on both polls, the EU made 29 recommendations that Kenya should adopt in
order to improve electoral management and avert a political crisis that
accompanies disputed poll results.
reform needs to be carried out well in advance of any election, and to be based
on broad consensus,” said the EU final report on Kenyan elections.
should be taken to strengthen the resilience of constitutionally independent
institutions involved in elections, to preserve checks and balances in the
electoral process,” it added.
The EU urged
Kenyan parliament to initiate inter-party consultations on electoral reforms and
proposed merit-based appointment of election officials to ensure future polls
are above board.
EU Election Observer Mission recommended financial autonomy and infrastructure
modernization of the electoral body to enhance its capacity to facilitate
8 presidential elections where the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the
winner were later nullified by the country’s apex court in September last year
over gross violation of electoral laws.
Court ordered a repeat of presidential polls within 60 days and Kenyatta emerged
the winner after his main rival in the opposition pulled out citing an unfair
observer missions including the EU agreed that the repeat presidential polls
were conducted in a more transparent manner despite heightened political
polarization and violent protests in opposition strongholds.