On August 9, 2022, Kenyans will go to the polls to elect a President, Governors, Members of Parliament, Woman Representatives, and Members of County Assemblies. However, the General Elections are happening against the backdrop of hard economic times; increased cost of living, soaring food prices and general difficulty in meeting basic needs for most people.
As the day draws closer, calls for peaceful elections have begun in earnest, alongside heightened political campaigns. The Catholic Church has also in recent days come out to strongly preach peace ahead of the elections. While the role of religious leaders in calling for peace and mediating conflicts cannot be downplayed, it is also important that we stress the need to protect election integrity.
The Electoral Knowledge Network, ace, posit that without electoral integrity, leaders and officials lack accountability to the public, confidence in the election results is weak, and the government lacks necessary legitimacy. Electoral integrity allows for peaceful resolution of conflict, open dialogue, debate, and information sharing among leaders and the public. Integrity depends on public confidence in electoral and political processes.
Distrust of election results is an issue that continues to plague elections in Kenya. We could say that it is the main cause of post-election violence when one faction feels they have been short-changed and their win was stolen.
Such disputed results have seen political parties and individuals challenge the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)’s voter registration, counting and tallying processes …<Read more>