Kenyans are awaiting the complete results of the
parliamentary by-election today (Friday) amidst calls for the disbandment of
the Electoral Commission. Prime Minister Raila Odinga other leaders of the main
opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in the unity government are calling
for a total overhaul of the electoral commission. But the chairman of the
commission, Samuel Kivuitu, and other commissioners are dismissing the calls
for their removal as unfortunate.
for the disbandment of the electoral commission amplified after the Kriegler
Commission of inquiry called for a radical reform of the electoral commission
and a creation of a new management that would be professional in organizing
elections that would meet international standards.
Ali is a Kenyan political analyst. From the capital, Nairobi he tells reporter
Peter Clottey that the electoral commission has proven to be an embarrassment
to all Kenyans.
of all the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) has become an organization that
is synonymous with shame and is being blamed for triggering the post-election
violence in Kenya. And really, very few Kenyans and very insignificant number
have any confidence in the Electoral Commission of Kenya," Ali noted.
said there is an overwhelming majority call for a total overhaul of the
mood is that the ECK has to disband, and the Prime Minister (Raila Odinga)
earlier today for the umpteenth time said that the ECK has to be disbanded. And
Indeed the Kriegler commission report, which was established or released last
week, indicates that Kenyans deserve a better electoral commission," he said.
said there was uncertainty about the fate of the electoral commission, but that
it quickly dissipated after the findings were made known to Kenyans.
think that this was the view shared before the Krieger Commission released its
report. And I think now, within the cabinet and members of parliament here in
the country are all in the view that really ECK has to be disbanded. And if
it's not disbanded then there is no way it is going to conduct business, and
even this by-election, which is being conducted are we are expecting the
results today, it is being reported that the turn out has been extremely low.
People sort of lost hope and confidence in voting, why go queue with time while
the whole thing is being conducted by a commission that has done a grave
mistake in the past?" Ali asked.
said the refusal of the chairman of the electoral commission to resign despite
overwhelming reported call by Kenyans is unfortunate.
is very stupid of the Electoral Commission Chairman Samuel Kivuiti to say that
he and his team are not going to resign because the mood is very clear that
they have to go, and I think it is going to be either they resign or the
commission is just disbanded. And Kenyans are not taking very kindly for saying
things like this," he said.
said Kenyans would not relent until the electoral commission is disbanded.
I can tell you for a fact is that pressure is mounting on the ECK to just go.
And if they don't go, pressure is really mounting on the cabinet, on the
government, on President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to take
action and disband this commission," Ali pointed out.