The president of the East Africa Law Society has expressed concern that delaying the release of final result from the presidential election is creating tension, especially following allegations of vote rigging during last Monday’s balloting.
“It is important that all politicians keep from making press statements that are likely to incite people to anger and to provoke people to violence, which is not necessary,” said James Mwamu.
“The politicians now have a judiciary system where they can challenge this vote results if they have not been done properly,” said Mwamu. “We therefore call for calm, and are also calling on the people of Kenya that they continue to maintain peace, they continue being calm and patient.”
Mwamu also called on Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to carry out its promise to announce the outcome of the general election on Friday. The electoral group has until Monday to announce the final results.
The IEBC says it has been working with the political parties to address their concerns about possible voting irregularities.
Mwamu says the electoral commission has been doing its best possible to investigate claims of irregularities.
“I think they are doing enough. The chairman of the IEBC has constantly been assuring members of the political parties,” Mwamu said. For now he is doing the correct thing by addressing their concerns.”
The IEBC initially announced it would release the election results 48 hours after Monday’s vote, but later said logistical challenges had forced it to extend the deadline to Friday.
Mwamu cautioned that further delays could create tension and speculation of voter fraud.
“The delay is causing anxiety, is causing tension,” he said. “What has happened with the IEBC system is bad enough and I don’t think it is in their interest and the interest of the country for them to delay these results any further.”
“Once they have given the people of Kenya a commitment to release the results by Friday,” continued Mwamu, “they must live by that particular information they gave the people of Kenya. When there is a delay, then rumors start flying of figures being changed and all kinds of speculations. I don’t think the IEBC members will want their reputation to go down the drain.”
Clottey interview with James Mwamu, head East Africa Law Society