Kenya Election Observer, U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, Urges Opposition Seek Legal Redress

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Kenya August 2017 International Observation Mission Delegates Dr. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, former commissioner for Political Affairs, African Union, Rep. Bass and Christine Todd Whitman, former New Jersey governor


Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) issued the following statement with the release of recommendations put forth by an international, bipartisan election delegation deployed to Kenya to observe the August 8 general elections. The delegation was sponsored by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and co-led by Rep. Bass.

“The Kenyan people have a lot to proud of in this election. The passionate enthusiasm felt county to county and the overwhelming voter turnout were both inspiring. The notion that Kenyans don’t care about the future of the country is just simply not true. This past election proves the opposite is true.”

The bipartisan delegation observed elections in 13 counties and NDI provided the technical assistance for the Election Observation Group, which deployed 8,000 Kenyan observers. NDI's international mission included 30 delegates from three continents and was joined by Former Secretary of State John Kerry.

“It is imperative that we continue the peaceful example set on election day and that candidates follow procedure established by the Kenyan government as final results are announced. I hope that the recommendations released by the delegation today as well as the final recommendation report that NDI will release shortly are applied in future processes in Kenya.”

The initial recommendations set forth by the election delegation can be found below.


The delegation urges Kenyan electoral actors to address immediate challenges during the consolidation of results and to apply lessons from the 2017 elections to benefit the post-election political process. In its final report, NDI will offer further, longer-term recommendations concerning enhancing inclusion in political processes and improving electoral processes. In the spirit of international cooperation, the delegation offers the following recommendations, which it believes would strengthen the Kenyan electoral framework.

To the IEBC:

Ensure timely and periodic communications to the Kenyan people and political contestants about the results tallying process, including any issues that may complicate the completion of the process within the constitutional timeframe.

Provide complete and timely polling station level results in an easily analyzable format.

Make copies of the scanned 34A and 34B Forms available to the public in a timely manner, as well as the Declaration of Results Forms for the other elections.

To political parties and candidates:

Publicly and vigorously encourage supporters to refrain from any acts of violence and/or intimidation.

Seek redress for electoral complaints through proper legal channels and abide by the outcomes of judicial proceedings.

To the Government of Kenya and the Judiciary:

Ensure that information about how to file election-related petitions is widely publicized in forms that are accessible for electoral contestants and the general public, including persons with disabilities and persons with limited literacy.

Regularly inform the public about progress made into the investigation of the death of IEBC IT Manager Chris Msando.

To security forces:

Demonstrate professionalism and exercise reasonable restraint in the maintenance of order if called upon to respond to any security incidents in the post-election period. Provide particular instructions to deployed security forces on recognizing and addressing violence against women in elections, including through connecting victims to crisis hotlines and rapid response mechanisms.

To civil society and the media:

Continue to actively monitor electoral processes, including the determination of electoral results and any legal processes related to the August 8 elections.

Continue to monitor and engage citizens in identifying incidents of hate speech and incitement to violence and coordinate with early warning/early response efforts.
Engage in responsible, fact-based coverage of post-election developments.

Civil society and media houses as well as the IEBC should actively address rumors and fake information in the post-election period in order to provide citizens with information they need to enhance political and governmental accountability.

To the people of Kenya:

Exercise restraint as you await the final electoral outcome, continuing the peaceful example set throughout the country on August 8.


Editor's Note: The above is a revised statement from Rep. Bass's office

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