General News Sat, 2 Sep 2017

Stop bashing Mahama, other observers over Kenya polls – Akwetey

Attacks against observer missions who monitored Kenya’s polls are uncalled for, Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance, Emmanuel Akwetey has said.

Kenya’s Supreme Court on Friday annulled the presidential election held in August after it argued it was not held in accordance with the constitution.

The court has ordered that a new election should be held within 60 days.

Many have since taken on various heads of observer missions, including former Presidents John Mahama and Thabo Mbeki who were heads of Commonwealth and AU Observer missions for declaring the election as free and fair.

They have argued that observer missions’ account on the election did not touch on various irregularities as alleged by Kenya’s opposition leader , Raila Odinga.

Dr. Akwetey, who was also an observer of Kenya’s polls, in a statement however defended heads of observer mission,especially Thabo Mbeki and John Mahama, saying they deserved commendation for giving a true account of developments on the ground.

“Please hold your fire. President Mahama and President Mbeki acquitted themselves well as leaders of the Commonwealth and AU Elections Observer Missions to Kenya, respectively.

I was in Kenya as an observer of the elections too. First, all observers agreed that the voting, vote counting and the e-transmissions of the results were transparent and credible. Therefore if the results published by the IEBC followed logically from the observations at the polling stations, then the results ought to be accepted as credible too,” he argued.

Mr. Akwetey pointed out that though “the international observers and their leaders could neither investigate the hacking allegations on the spot nor stop the declaration of the results, which the IEBC alone was empowered to do,” the two leaders “however engaged the IEBC and reported back to observers and the international media the IEBC had rejected the allegations by Raila’s camp…”

According to Mr. Akewtey , both Mahama and Mbeki “repeatedly advised Raila & Co to resort to the Supreme Court to deal with their [hacking] claims.”

He indicated that “Raila & Co initially rejected the two [former] Presidents’ advice and rather accused them of being friends or sympathisers of Kenyatta.”

Mr. Akwetey said the two leaders “maintained their composure and their stand that the elections as observed were transparent and credible,” despite resistance from Raila’s team.

“Let us therefore commend, rather than condemn, Prez Mbeki and Mahama as experienced African statesmen who uncompromisingly pointed Kenya in the direction of the SC; thereby, they played a critical role in steering Kenya away from a second post-elections violence in August 2017,”he said.

Source: citifmonline.com
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