Commission launches Post Election Evaluation after conduct of 2022 GE
 26th Jan 2023

The election cycle starts and ends with the candid evaluation to document what needs to establish that worked and what did not work and the lessons learned for improvement of conduct of future elections.

The 2022 General Election held on August 9th, was the third to be conducted by the Commission since the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. The Constitution under Article 88 (4) (h), mandates the IEBC to conduct Post-Election Evaluations (PEE) after every General Election. The evaluation seeks to ensure elections are true reflection of the will of people.

“This is an objective that goes to foundation and roots of our nationhood, for which we must work collectively," said Hon Justice Muturi, the Attorney General of Kenya, who was the Chief Guest during the launch of the Post-Election Evaluation report.

Wafula Chebukati reiterated that the PEE launch marked his last duty as Chairman of IEBC.

“I exit contented that we gave it our best to this Commission. We charted and weathered storms that threatened the existence of the Commission,” said Chebukati.  “During my tenure, the Commission endured relentless fatigue in preparation for election. We mastered higher courage to overcome the perils of democracy and we delivered the sacred will of the people of Kenya."

The PEE report lays emphasis demand for corporate governance and need to have Commissioners appointed at least two years before the general election, in accordance with best practices. Besides, the report called for an improvement of the legal framework by the Commission collaborating more closely with the Parliament to expedite suggested amendments and that the IEBC strengthen its partnerships with the office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORRP) and Chapter Six Institutions in terms of nominations.

Though the Commission has done well to improve the security of the election, the report recommends that IEBC should tighten access controls at the tallying center to ensure that only authorized personnel have access. It also suggests that on election day, special voting procedures be used by the IEBC.

Importantly, the evaluation found out that the Commission needs to operationalize the IEBC Fund, buy its own building owned by the Commission, and provide staff with adequate security and risk allowance during the election period.

“The findings and recommendations of the PEE report will be shared with State Agencies, Development Partners and other stakeholders involved in the electoral process in Kenya to better our election architecture as we move our country towards a stronger democracy,” said Chebukati.

Speaking during the launch, Commissioner Prof Guliye lauded the support he was accorded to deliver on his mandate.

“I thank God and the people of Kenya for the six years I served as Commissioner. This called for courage, dedication and devotion to God. I upheld our Oath of Office and rule of law. As I leave, am satisfied I did my best. I leave the Commissioner stronger and in better hands,” said Prof Guliye.

Commissioner Molu noted that the appraisal of the election conduct was an important task in self-evaluation that also forms a key milestone in the election cycle. As has been said before, elections are not an event but a process

“We appreciate donors, Parliament and diplomatic mission for support. The Commission should not play partisan politics. This is not a platform to reward for political patronage. The Commission deserves to be led by people of integrity. We have served you to the best of our ability. The next Commission will pick from where we left,” said Molu.

The Chairman noted that he has completed his task and is happy with the performance of his Commission during his tenure.

"We believe the pace has been set and I take this opportune moment to wish our successors all the best as they pick the baton from us to take the elections of this country to the next level,” added Chebukati.

The involvement and guidance received from the donors was also lauded during the evaluation.

"I acknowledge support from our development partners that includes UNDP led Deepening Democracy Programme, European Union, United Kingdom, Republic of Germany, Republic of Italy and Republic of Ireland. We also appreciate the various initiatives from USAID," said the Chairman.

Chebukati noted that after the Supreme Court nullified Presidential Election result in 2017, the Commission worked on improving its systems and practices, in readiness for next electoral cycle. These helped strengthen legal and regulatory framework which brought about accountable and transparent practices.

Deployment of suitable technology helped promote openness and transparency in the election and minimized opportunities for fraud.

“The results of the Presidential Election were posted on a public portal which could be accessed by any interested person. The improved systems and processes were vindicated in the eyes of election observers, the Supreme Court in relation to the Presidential Election result, and above all, the people of Kenya," said Hon Justin Muturi.

The attorney General said his office will be ready to receive and be involved in any call for change of law to improve the election process.

"Should there be need for legislative and policy changes, it should be done in good time to avert risk of having to change law in an election period. Having a settled legal and policy framework well before an election is critical to ensuring level playing field,” said the AG.

Chebukati underlined the fact that elections are perhaps the most critical pillar of Kenya’s democracy as it offers the citizens an opportunity to elect leaders and Government of their choice. Therefore, it is critical to conduct an evaluation at the end of every election cycle to inform strategies going forward.

Commission Secretary and CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan underpinned the evaluation to its role of offering a window to propose recommendations that will inform strategies to be employed in the next electoral cycles.

Marjan noted that the 2022 post-election evaluation was conducted in a participatory manner based on the electoral cycle, the Commission’s Strategic Plan, Election Operations Plan, and the Legal mandate. The evaluation addressed processes and activities in the last electoral cycle.

"This time around the Post Evaluation has been done earlier compared to that of the 2017 GE and Fresh presidential election. This will enable early implementation of the recommendations,” said Marjan.

From the evaluation, it is apparent that the Commission demonstrated its commitment in the delivery of a free, fair, and credible election. The Commission hinged its delivery on collaboration and working closely with different partners.

“The findings and recommendations of the PEE report will be shared with state agencies, development partners and other stakeholders involved in the electoral process in Kenya to further improve the electoral process,” said Marjan.

Speaking during the launch, Registrar of Political parties Anne Nderitu called for Parliament to look at the gaps and complete the process of amendment of the Elections Act, early in the election process, to harmonize it with other laws governing elections.

"I urge Parliament to look at the gaps and complete the process of amendment of the Election Act early in the election process to harmonize it with other laws governing elections,” said Nderitu.

Chairperson of the Council of Governors Ann Waiguri said the Commission has done well to evaluate its performance and will implement the recommendation from an informed position.

"I believe this report addresses fundamental issues and makes recommendations on various areas of electoral cycle. Who can forget the innovative posting of election results on an open portal in 2022. That was indeed the game changer," said Waiguru.

Philemon Sabulei, the Chairperson of the County Assembly Forum, said the PEE report will play a big role in conduct of election in future. The Commission did well to overcome challenges to deliver on its mandate and for quick response to issues raised by candidates, which will strengthen IEBC corporate governance.

The European Union Ambassador to Kenya Henriette Geiger said the Commission Chairman and Commissioners did well to stand firm with the law and set the bar high.

“You are the first Commission to have served full 6-year term, congratulations. I applaud Kenyans for being peaceful. The Commission stood firm on the path to stronger democracy and rule of law building better relation towards 2027 General Election. The European Union will stand firm to support the Commission in the electoral process,” said Ambassador Geiger.