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Lessons in the annulment of the election in Kenya

Comment: It's not that simple an exercise, SAS!

2017-09-06 23:24:56
Comment to:
Lessons in the annulment of the election in Kenya

Whiles the main tenet of your piece, that elections must reflect the true will of the people expressed through how they voted, must be quite a truism, you seem not to grasp the full difficulty of doing this. This is the crux of the Kenyan case.

It is not enough to be vigilant at the polling booths when technical means beyond the reach of the "vigilantes" at the polling booths and even so-called strong rooms are used to mar the process. The vigilantes must have the technical knowledge and the means to detect, and prevent, fraud perpetrated at the technical level. In the Kenyan case, an operative with the technical knowledge to prevent such fraud was done away with. The game was given away only because the hackers were so crude. What if they had been so good as to leave no traces?

There are rumours that the NPP may have perpetrated such a fraud on Ghanaians in the last elections. While the party had the capacity to win the elections fair and square, the margin of victory raises eyebrows.

Let me state here that these are rumours that may or may not be true. It is in the same way that your assertion that the NPP won by extra vigilance may or may not be true. SAS, you cannot know that for sure. You may be blinded by your support of the party and the concomitant detestation of the opponents.

Another very basic concern you never touched on is that the "cleanliness" of an electoral process is dependent on the logistical capabilities of the country holding the elections. This means that even if nobody cheats in an election, we cannot be absolutely sure that a particular election accurately reflects the wish of the voters especially if the call is a close one. Even the US, with all its logistical strength, was not able to determine who won an election in the case of Bush Junior's first term win. How much more a third world country like Kenya or Ghana? It's not just a matter of counting votes accurately.

In Latvia, they are voting on the internet and the counting process can be ascertained live by all citizens. I also live in a small European country which conducts no censuses or voter registrations because at each moment in time, all the vital statistics are accurately known almost to the last man. This is an ongoing process.

Until we in Africa can also raise the logistical bases of all our processes (and not only the electoral process) we may have to rely on a strong and impartial judiciary to interfere in the process in a postive way.

Sorry for the long input.

And welcome back to these pages. Hope we see more of you.

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