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EUEOM Presidential, Parliamentarian and Civic Elections Kenya 2002

Preliminary Statement - Nairobi, 29 December 2002

PRELIMINARY CONCLUSIONS

These elections mark an important step forward in the process of the development of democracy in Kenya. The people of Kenya have generally been able to cast their votes freely for the candidates of their choice. Political parties were able to campaign actively in a far more peaceful and conducive atmosphere than in previous elections. Notwithstanding some incidents of violence and organisational shortcomings, the overall conduct of the elections constitute an example for other countries in the region.

Despite shortcomings, the print and the electronic media, both public and private, generally offered extensive and diverse coverage of the political campaign.

A number of improvements to the election legislation were introduced prior to the elections. Regrettably, some of these, like continuous voter registration, came too late to be implemented for these elections.

On Election Day, voters turned out in a peaceful and orderly manner. Party agents, as well as domestic and international observers, were present in nearly all polling stations.

The main problem experienced on Election Day were deficiencies in the voters register and the confusing and inconsistent approach adopted by the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) and its polling station officials in dealing with this issue.

The new legislation requiring the counting of the votes at the polling stations has improved the openness and transparency of the democratic process. Counting of the votes has taken place in a well organised manner.

Tabulation of results is still ongoing and the final result of the elections still needs to be declared by the ECK. The EU EOM will continue to observe this process and will produce a final report, which will contain in more detail its findings on the entire electoral process, as well as recommendations for further improvement of the democratic process.


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