What you need to know:
- The electoral agency has promised to hold daily briefings in the countdown to the polling day.
- Consultations are useful to help lower political temperatures as voters prepare to exercise their constitutional right to elect their leaders.
Two events have shown that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) may be on the right track in its preparations for the August 9 elections.
Consultations are useful to help lower political temperatures as voters prepare to exercise their constitutional right to elect their leaders from the grassroots to the national levels.
The consultations also boost public confidence in the electoral process.
The first event was last Friday’s meeting between IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and his team, and the National Police Service boss, Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, and Directorate of Criminal Investigations chief George Kinoti in the wake of the recent controversy over the arrest of three Venezuelans who were found with election stickers in their private luggage on their arrival in Nairobi.
Mr Mutyambai and Mr Chebukati have pledged to work together closely after resolving a misunderstanding that had sparked an ugly exchange of words.
This is something Kenyans will welcome.
The second was yesterday’s IEBC meeting with representatives of political parties.
They discussed contentious issues on the elections and issued a joint statement.
The Kenya Kwanza Alliance and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition had accused the IEBC of having an extra set of result declaration forms for ulterior motives.
However, the IEBC assured them that only the first booklet of Form 34-A will be used in the transmission of presidential election results.
The electoral agency has also promised to hold daily briefings in the countdown to the polling day.
The active involvement of political actors is key, as it provides a chance to negotiate and agree on sticky issues.
However, it is important that some details in the agreements be made public to clear any doubts in people’s minds.
The issues that were resolved had been widely reported and when officials declare that an understanding has been reached, details should be revealed unless they constitute classified information that could compromise election preparedness.
It is, indeed, in the interest of all that the coming elections are free and fair.