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Don't lose faith in electoral agency

By Asman Kamama | March 17th 2016

As the clock ticks towards the 2017 General Election, the role of the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) continues to elicit both negative and positive reactions.

The IEBC, which has been mandated by the Constitution to undertake and supervise elections, faces a myriad of challenges that need to be fixed to allow for a credible and fair poll.

In 2007 and 2013, the electoral body was accused of failing to live up to international standards. The scenario was worse in 2007, when the contentious elections resulted in post-election violence, culminating in loss of life, displacement and destruction of property. That was a big shame for this country that no one would wishes to revisit.

The technical issues that affected the biometric system in 2013, where the system malfunctioned, is an area that needs to be addressed ahead of the 2017 elections.

Kenyans yearn for a free and fair election and it would be prudent for IEBC to cultivate public confidence.

The Government should also support IEBC by providing funds and political goodwill to ensure its functions are well executed.

As the country moves towards the 2017 poll, there has emerged this worrying trend where politicians are now casting aspersions on the integrity of IEBC without substantial evidence.

The threats used by the Opposition against IEBC, as much as they are intended to embolden and encourage their supporters to vote in the next General Election, do not augur well for the body which is constitutional mandated to conduct elections.

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The Opposition should not lose faith in the electoral body by inciting Kenyans against it but strive to point out areas that can be improved to make elections to be free and fair.

Further the argument by the Opposition against IEBC in one way or another could also contribute to their supporters refusing to vote on the premise that the vote is already rigged.

If we lose faith in all our constitutional bodies that were streamlined following the enactment of this constitution, then we are headed back to the dogs.

Kenyans should respect our Constitution by confirming confidence in the IEBC and other bodies and pursue any amendments that can be legally undertaken.


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