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Kenya put on spot over high cost of elections

by kenya-tribune

The European Union (EU) has identified Kenya’s election as one of the most expensive in the continent amid rising financial challenges in the country.

Three months after the general elections, the EU now wants stakeholders to address the high cost implications as the country continues to grapple with drought challenges.

This came as the EU expressed its concern over failure to meet the two third gender rule as envisaged in the constitution and representation of people with disability.

This emerged during the 3rd national legal aid conference on access to justice organized by UNDP and Egerton University in Simba Lodge Naivasha.

According to Line Urban, the Programme manager at EU, the country had performed well in the just concluded general elections despite a split in IEBC commissioners.

Addressing participants during the conference, Line noted that there was a need in future to fund IEBC with more cash so as to embrace the latest voting technology.

“Kenya’s election continues to be one of the most expensive in the region and there is a need to address this while making sure that the issue of two thirds gender rule is met,” he said.

The senior EU officials praised the electoral body and security officers over the manner that the elections had been conducted without any chaos as has been the past.

She called on stakeholders to address the issues of social media bullying, education levels and mental status of candidates for the elections terming the current standards as too high.

On his part, Ugenya Mp David Ochieng expressed his concern over executive interference and introduction of questionable bills in every election year.

The legislator however noted that the country had made major strides in the democratic space adding that parliament was now independent compared to yester years.

“During election years, there is massive abuse of public resources as it happened in the last general elections and this should be addressed through a new law,” he said.

He pointed an accusing finger at the judiciary noting that there were fears that graft was finding its way in the corridors of justice.

However Justice Hilary Chemitei said that the judiciary was impartial adding that accessibility to justice was better compared to years back.

“Individuals are responsible in fighting graft and currently the judiciary is within the set timelines in dealing with the filed petitions,” he said.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor in Egerton University Professor Richard Mulwa noted that the country’s democratic space had matured as experienced during the elections.

“There was no violence witnessed before and during the elections and the transition was smooth meaning the country has democratically matured,” he said.

Others who spoke were Charity Kagwe from UNDP who noted that hundreds of people had benefited from the legal aid and access to justice programme through the organization.

“Votes are a source of conflict as it happened in Rwanda and we are grateful over the manner that Kenyans conducted themselves during the electioneering period,” he said.

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