IEBC FAULTED FOR IRREGULARLY ACCREDITING ELECTIONS OBSERVATION GROUP (ELOG)
A statement was issued by African Electoral Observation Group (AEOG) on 25th July 2019 faulting IEBC’s decision to single-source ELOG to observe the Punguza Mizigo Initiative supporters verification exercise.
AEOG argues that the verification of signatures does not constitute an electoral process as defined in law and therefore does not require observation.
IEBC in a press statement revealed that they ‘invited and accredited ELOG to observe the entire verification exercise to the end’. AEOG argues that this decision of the commission to prefer ELOG to observe the verification exercise is illegal, does not guarantee independence and therefore the process is illegitimate.
The irregularities cited in the protest letter include:
The commission did not issue a notice of referendum before inviting ELOG for accreditation to observe the verification exercise.
The accreditation of ELOG is premature. The verification exercise was not an electoral process and therefore did not require observation.
The commission did not invite observers to apply for accreditation for this verification exercise through a notice in the national daily newspapers or through their website as required by law.
The commission did not give election observers requisite information about the verification exercise including the dates and the venue.
Consequently, AEOG noted that:
Potential election observers were deliberately excluded from participating in the observation of this important verification exercise.
The decision of the commission to prefer ELOG in the accreditation for observation of the verification exercise is illegal, does not guarantee independence and therefore the process is illegitimate.
AEOG concludes that ‘the preliminary report released by ELOG on the verification exercise lacks credibility and could be influenced by partisan interests’.
This protest is just one hurdle among many that IEBC is likely to face as the Punguza Mizigo Referendum takes shape.