#KenyaDecides: Commonwealth observers describe election as “credible, fair and inclusive.”


John Mahama, Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group in Kenya and former President of Ghana, has described the Kenyan elections as “credible, fair and inclusive’’.

Mr. Mahama in his interim statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria by Commonwealth Secretariat on Thursday in Abuja commended Kenyans for their patience in waiting for the final election results.

He called on all political party leaders and their supporters to show restraint and magnanimity as the results process continues to unfold.

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The group Chair said that it was vital that all “political leaders maintain peace and calm, exercise patience and not stampede the process.”

“We have followed the whole process and wish to congratulate all on the process thus far.

“It is my fervent hope and expectation that the positive, peaceful and orderly atmosphere that we all experienced on August 8 will continue to prevail as we await the conclusion of this electoral process.

“Our overall conclusion is that the opening, voting, closing and counting process at the polling stations on August 8 were credible, transparent and inclusive,” he said.

He said that the complex election for six levels of government, undertaken at a cost that was reported to have made it one of the most expensive per capita elections ever, was still not over.

Mr. Mahama who said that the process was however producing results noted that Kenya, for the first time, had a number of women governors.

He said that additional history had been made in the North-eastern district bordering with Somalia, where a woman was elected as a member of the parliament the first time.

He said that the commonwealth noted the complaint of the opposition’s leader, Raila Odinga, that the transmission system had been hacked and the figures broadcast from the national tallying centre were false.

“The tone of his complaint, its public nature and the risk that such statements might cause followers to take to the streets raised immediate alarm.

“Kenya is not a country where allegations of election fraud can be taken lightly. We are mindful that the process of collating the results is still on-going.

“I wish to reiterate my earlier call for leadership, and I therefore call upon all political party leaders and their supporters to show restraint and magnanimity as the results process continues to unfold,” he said.