Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Success or failure?

There are many elements to a successful election -- success being measured in terms of credibility and legitimacy. Kenyan political institutions seem uncertain that Kenya will enjoy a successful election because some of the  selfsame political institutions distrust the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission while the ruling alliance will hear nothing about doubts about the preparedness of the elections' manager.

What is certain is that the doubts about the IEBC's credibility -- fueled by delays in getting crucial logistical issues off the to-do list -- are the natural consequence of the predictable poor politicisation of the process by both the Majority alliance and the Minority coalition in Parliament. Matters that should have been settled in the aftermath of the 2013 general elections -- including knotty amendments to the Elections Act, the Political Parties Act and the Elections Campaign Financing Act -- were hijacked by the selfishness of parliamentarians and converted into footballs fought over with a ferociousness that betrayed the parliamentarians' lack of interest in the public good.

Whether the elections are successful or not depends almost entirely on events that are beyond the control of the voter -- but in the hands of the political classes and the political institutions meant to oversee the elections. For there to be success, the degree of political trust among the political institutions and actors has to be raised to unprecedented heights. None of the players bar, perhaps, the Commission seem interested in this arduous task. Fifty-five or so days out from the elections, what the politicians will determine the outcome of the elections. No one has faith that they will do the right thing. I hope we are wrong.

No comments: