EU report offers vital tips for poll reforms

The findings of the European Union election observers released this week have helped to clarify issues and reinforce facts about the botched election last December.

Some of the findings may not be new, as they have been in the public domain since that fateful December 30, when the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) announced the disputed presidential poll results.

Even so, the report provides new and insightful findings about the mess that was the presidential vote tallying and offers recommendations to create a perfect electoral system for posterity.

Like other previous observations and findings, the presidential election tallying was so flawed that it was not possible to conclusively determine the winner.

Some of the errors were: delay in remitting presidential vote count from the constituencies to the ECK poll headquarters in Nairobi, announcing results without corroborating documents, as well as inflated and falsified figures.

Cumulatively, these provided for questionable results which remain at the centre of the protracted political dispute, whose consequences were deaths and displacement of people.

Looking back at what happened before, during and after the elections, and reading what the report says, it is clear that faulty electoral laws are too costly and dangerous for a nation.

Unfortunately for Kenya, those who presided over or abetted the electoral mess are sitting pretty in their offices, earning inordinately large salaries and allowances.

Never again should this country go to any election with such a skewed system we had in 2007. The need for a quick and comprehensive review of electoral laws has never be more urgent.

That is why we wish to see the review commission under South African jurist Johann Kriegler start work quickly to comprehensively unearth the rot in the electoral process.

But, as we have said before, the ECK commissioners should step down to pave the way for the investigations.

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