Temper comments, law body urges politicians

Kenyans could lose faith in the electoral commission if politicians do not watch their comments at this critical time, regional law body has warned.

President of the East Africa Law Society James Mwamu on Thursday said tension has been building up in the country and careless comments could lead to lack of confidence in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission which is yet to announce the final results of Monday’s General Election.

Mr Mwamu called on political contestants to desist from comments that “are likely to incite people to do things that are not in order.”

“We know have a new system in Kenya and we believe that anybody who has evidence of irregularities can keep them to be filed in court,” Mr Mwamu said.

He was speaking during a media briefing held in Nairobi where the Society gave the preliminary report of its Election Observation Team.

While appreciating the complexity of the historic election, Mr Mwamu also urged IEBC chairman Issack Hassan to speed up the vote tallying process.

“Even as we call on Kenyans to exercise patience, it is also important for the IEBC to hasten the verification of the results and they are given in time. The people have waited for a long time but it would also not be fair to expect them to wait for a longer period,” he said, adding that such delays could only result in raising tension.

The observation team led by president of the Uganda Law Society James Sebugenyi gave the IEBC an overall positive scorecard after witnessing the exercise carried out in a number of stations in Nairobi, Coast, Nyanza and Western regions.

Areas highlighted for improvement were; the absence of power backup and lighting systems, quick tallying and transmission of results, and a standardised system for what qualifies for valid votes.

Mr Sebugenyi said they noticed each of the streams in Shanzu Teachers Training College in Mombasa agreed on a different method of validating the votes.

“There were different standards adopted on what amounted to a valid or invalid vote across the different streams in the polling stations based on the agreement between the Presiding Officers and political party representatives in each stream,” he explained.

The team further called on Kenyans to remain calm and maintain peace as the results continue to be officially announced by the IEBC.


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