Kenya: Dueling Press Releases

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Elections Commission of Kenya Web poll today. To give you an idea of how meaningful this is as a measure of Kenyan public opinion, I myself was able to vote in the online survey. Twice. (I voted “Don’t know.” Honestly, I don’t. Disclosure: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Kenyan.)

Graf said his mission had evidence of presidential tallies announced in polling stations on the election being inflated by the time they were released by the electoral commission in Nairobi.

Dueling press releases on the freedom, credibility and adherence to simple beancounting best practices of the Kenyan elections, just concluded:

  1. EU observers question Kenya vote result (Forbes.com)
  2. Kenya: Preliminary Findings of IRI’s International Election Observation Mission (AllAfrica.com)

NAIROBI (Thomson Financial) — The European Union’s team of election observers in Kenya said Sunday that the country’s electoral commission had failed to ensure the credibility of the presidential vote.

Your tax dollars at work from the the NED-IRI, meanwhile, which soft-peddles the “glitches” in the process and advises:

Kenya continues to move forward on its democratic path. As the country moves into the final phase of the election, IRI’s delegation encourages the people to continue to respect the process and accept the final decision.

Shut up and respect the authorities, which do not have to explain themselves to anyone, whether or not they respect your decision:

Forbes:

President Mwai Kibaki was re-elected following a three-day tallying process which his main challenger Raila Odinga charged was systematically tampered with by Kibaki’s camp.

Unlike the EU elections observer mission to Mexico in 2006, which ratified the results and issued the same admonition — “we urge all parties to accept the result and get on with their lives” — this EU mission offers a backwards compliment to the Kenyan Ugalde that amounts to a stiff slap in the face:

‘We believe that, at this time, the ECK (Electoral Commission of Kenya), despite the best efforts of its chairman, has not succeeded in establishing the credibility of the tallying process to the satisfaction of all parties and candidates,’ chief EU observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff said in a statement.

We regret that we informed your your elections were at risk of turning out as phony as a $3 bill and you thanked us politely and then proceeded to pass that $3 bill at a local convenience store:

‘We regret that it has not been possible to address irregularities about which both the EU EOM (EU Electoral Observation Mission) and the ECK have evidence,’ he added.

And what evidence is that? And why could it not be possibly be addressed? Most elections systems do not ratify results until legal challenges can be presented and processed. What happened here?

Let’s hear about the forensic beancounting side of this story now. How credible are the accusations of tampering? There are cases in which such charges are brought without foundation. See

Help me understand the foundation of the allegations so I can assess the situation based on the facts.

Taipei Times, sourcing “agencies”: Challenger wants a recount.

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga called yesterday for the government to concede defeat or allow a recount of a presidential election, saying the government had lost “all legitimacy” because of fraud.”If need be, he should resign,” Odinga told a news conference. “We do not want to plunge this country into chaos.”

In what way chaotic? On what were the allegations of rigging based? Who did the counting, by the way? Not Unisys, by any chance?

Election officials announced that Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki had won the election as unrest simmered after a chaotic count marred by widespread ethnic violence and allegations of rigging. Odinga, leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, questioned why his initial strong lead in Thursday’s election counting had suddenly disappeared. “We will not accept cooked figures … This government has lost all legitimacy and cannot govern,” he said.

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