The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Wednesday (March 1) received international praise for its performance in the August 2022 general election.
The African Association of Arbitrators and Mediators (AOMA) commended the IEBC for the way it handled the elections professionally, especially the presidential election where William Ruto was declared the winner.
Presenting the award to the electoral commission, AOMA noted that the IEBC conducted the election in a transparent, free and impartial manner, without favoring any party.
“The Ambassador saw that the IEBC officials carried out their duties in a transparent, independent and impartial manner.
Authorized agents and observers had access to polling stations and counting stations,” the report said.
The report presented to the Director General of IEBC, Hussein Marjan, and the Chairman of the Kenyan Commission on Administrative Justice and the Secretary General of AOMA, Florence Kajuju, noted that IEBC has facilitated the processes, including the mandate of agents of political parties, media and observers.
In their presentation, the Union of African Arbitrators and Mediators said that the IEBC conducted the exercise in accordance with the relevant election laws and the Declaration on the Principles of International Election Observation.
“The mission also discovered that some candidates admitted defeat and sent congratulations to their competitors after the announcement of the results.
“Some aggrieved candidates chose to use constitutional means of resolving post-election disputes and called on their supporters to maintain peace,” the AOMA observer mission said.
However, AOMA explained that there were instances where the IEBC made mistakes or was delayed due to equipment defects resulting from poor preparation.
In particular, AOMA highlighted the case where elections were postponed in Kakamega and Mombasa counties, as well as parliamentary elections in Kacheliba, South Pokot, Kitui Vijijini and Rongai constituencies.
“The delegation learned best practices that AOMA member states can borrow from the 2022 general election process in Kenya, including the use of KIEMS technology to identify voters; the readiness of the IEBC despite managing a large number of voters and six elections at the same time; along with the commitments of stakeholders and IEBC,” the party noted in its final decision on the electoral process in Kenya.
The IEBC commission was rewarded despite the leader of the Unity Declaration Raila Odinga claiming that the electoral commission sabotaged the results in favor of Ruto.