IEBC should ensure credible elections
Kenyans elect a new set of representatives next Tuesday, starting with Members of County Assembly to the President in what has all the hallmarks of a landmark transition election.
This is an important point in Kenya’s history and it is critical that the election is handled well to ensure a smooth transition.
Already, citizens are grappling with numerous challenges, mostly about the cost of living. A prolonged electoral cycle is only likely to make matters more difficult for them. This is why the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission should ensure results of all the six elections are transmitted in a timely manner so that Kenyans can go back to their normal routines, including sending children back to school.
Elections come and go. There will be winners and losers. Once all players understand this self-evident fact, then elections cease to be do-or-die competitions. Even losers will know that they will vie another day and should learn from their mistakes to improve their chances next time.
The electoral commission has an important role to play in this regard. First, it is important that it keeps all players, including citizens, informed about its activities. Secondly, it ought to do its best to ensure all electoral materials are ready by voting day so that the exercise can get off to a smooth start. Thirdly, it should relay the results in good time.
It is encouraging that observers are so far yet to raise any questions about the conduct of the commission and other players in the electoral process so far. This is a departure from the past, when questions started flying even before polling day. This could be an indication that IEBC has improved its processes. We encourage it to do everything in its power to live up to the high expectations that citizens have about it.
IEBC should take Kenya to a point where elections will be viewed as routine undertakings meant to refresh the people’s mandate to their elected representatives. This will be a great legacy for the commission to bequeath the country.
Kenyans understand this is a journey, not an event. It will take time, commitment and consistency for the country to come to a point where political outcomes will be based on issues that affect the people. Getting there is a collective responsibility, but IEBC sits squarely at the centre of that undertaking.