Kenya crisis: EU releases details of doctored votes


JF-Expert Member
Feb 11, 2007
Kenya crisis: EU releases details of doctored votes
By Jeff Otieno, Nairobi

Details of doctored votes in the just-ended polls were released yesterday by European Union observers, who declared that Kenya's General election fell short of democratic standards and lacked transparency.

A report by the European Union observer mission, which sent out 152 officials to monitor voting in different parts of the country, said there was a "lack of transparency" in the tallying of results which gave President Kibaki victory, raising doubt about their accuracy.

It says "serious inconsistencies and anomalies" in results announced by the ECK led to differences between the presidential results for Kieni and Molo issued at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre and those reported by its EU chief observer was shown result forms for Lari and Kandara which had been altered while in Kerugoya there was difference of more than 10,000 in the number of presidential and parliamentary voters.

It says competition among the election candidates in the national elections was uneven, as some abused state resources while the state controlled Kenya Broadcasting Corporation was biased in its coverage of the campaigns.

The report, which was presented to the media by the observer mission head Alexander Lambsdorff, tells of the difficulties faced by its officials in obtaining results from Returning Officers at most polling station in Central Province and Coast.

Cases of Results being withheld and only being released to observers after confirmation by ECK officers in Nairobi occurred in Mathioya, Kaloleni, Mvita, Kisauni, Changamwe, Likoni and Central/North Imenti.

A number of party agents reported that they had been denied copies of result forms while forms in Kangema were signed only by an agent of the Party of National Unity.

Now the observation team is calling for an independent audit of the presidential votes.

Speaking at an international press conference held at Hotel Intercontinental, Mr Lambsdorff, said it was up to Kenyans to decide on the composition of the audit team and duration the investigations will take.

It is also up to Kenyans to decide what action they will take based on the outcome of the investigations. Our job is to let the facts speak for themselves without speculation or conjecture, he said.

Mr Lambsdorff said problems in the electoral process began after the close of the polls, EU observers being turned away from tallying centres, particularly in Central Province, without being given results and being denied access to the tallying room at the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) headquarters.

Whilst the results of election were announced, the official figures for all the constituencies are still not available and adequate measures have not been taken at all levels to ensure the results can be correlated in the public domain,� the report adds.

According to Mr Lambsdorff, in Molo the figure released at the counting hall at the constituency level was that President Kibaki had garnered 50,145 votes, but the national figure released by the ECK showed the head of state received 75,261.

The presidential votes tally released in Kieni constituency level showed Mr Kibaki had received 54,337 votes, while the national figures announced by ECK chairman, Mr Samwel Kivuitu showed he had garnered 72,054.

Mr Lambsdorff said in North Imenti, after the counting of parliamentary and civic votes were completed, returning officers postponed tallying to the following day saying they were too tired to continue.

In Thika, he said, counting of presidential votes was stopped at one oclock in the night without any explanation and in Nyer EU agents were told that they could only get the results of the presidential election after the returning officer returned from Nairobi.

Mr Lambsdorff said the uncharacteristically higher voter turnout in Central province and Nyanza also raised queries that needed further investigation.

Turnouts higher than 90 per cent were observed in a number of polling stations namely in Central and Eastern Province. In Maragua, ECK officials informed the EU observation team that there were some doubts regarding the high turnout, the EU interim report said.

Central is the home turf of President Kibaki, while Nyanza is the birth place of ODM's presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

The report says at the ECK headquarters, the EU team chief observer was shown forms on which the election results for constituencies 205 (Lari) and 096 (Kandara) had been changed.

It was unclear by whom, where and especially when these changes were made, the document adds.

The document says it was not possible to verify whether the signature of the party agents was included before or after the changes.

The team's deputy observer, Mr Graham Elson, expressed disappointment with the electoral process saying Kenya failed to maintain the standards it had set in the 2002 General Election and the referendum and was only comparable to Nigeria.

The EU team had about 150 observers comprising short term and long term election observers. On the polling day the team managed to observe a total of 752 polling stations on the election day.

It says candidates agents were present in nearly all polling stations visited, however, according to the report, there was a tendency of over-representation by PNU or ODM agents in the strongholds of the two parties.

The aggregation of results in the tally centres were delayed and also lacked transparency in many constituencies, the 15-page interim report adds.

The report cites a complaint by the ECK chairman Kivuitu that some returning officers were reported to have disappeared after the completion of the tallying process in their constituencies. A comprehensive report will be released in February.
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