For Immediate Release
Monday October 24, 2016
ICPC STANDS FOR CONSOLIDATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRATIC PEACE IN 2017 KENYA ELECTIONS
International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) is calling upon people of Kenya, political parties and elections’ candidates to focus on issue-based policy campaigns that address national priorities such as economy, security, equality, job creation and governance in 2017 general elections to ensure peaceful and violent free elections in the 2017 general elections.
ICPC will sustain electoral and democratic peace dialogue to ensure the country holds elections with credibility and that upholds the integrity of the vote for wide acceptance
ICPC notes that the 2017 elections are high stake and will be most competitive election since the promulgation of the Constitution in August 2010. 2017 Elections represent an important dimension in the efforts towards democratic consolidation in the country. We therefore underscore the growing and often expressed determination of all Kenyans and their international friends to ensure that the elections are conducted in peaceful, constructive and credible environment through all phases of the electoral process.
ICPC observes that Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is taking steps to reinforce the integrity of the electoral system. However, information about these concrete steps is not widely understood by many stakeholders, many of whom are stressing the need for concerted efforts to enhance citizen confidence and participation in the process in order to contribute to violence-free elections in August 2017.
Kenya’s 2013 elections were fraught with technical and integrity problems. These weaknesses were underpinned by weak commitment to timely critical decision-making and ill preparedness electoral of management body that meant key decisions were left too late to be effective and were done without transparency. The concern is that if the high stake elections in 2017 yield unclear results either through weak management capacity and / or manipulation, this will undermine public confidence in political and legal processes to resolve election disputes, leading to the reversal of democratic gains and at worst, outbreaks of violence.
Elections mean much more than just a vote destined to transfer political power. They are processes to foster and strengthen democratic culture and civil liberties. ICPC urges that the success of Kenya’s upcoming presidential, County and parliamentary elections depends greatly upon the degree to which the country has reformed and strengthened its democratic institutions, increased transparency and accountability in electoral process, and deepened respect for the rule of law and human rights.
ICPC emphasizes that democratic elections are decisive for ensuring that the will of the people is respected in the shaping of the legislature and government at all levels and that elected bodies are effectively representative. When citizens seem to have less and less confidence in the institutions of representative democracy, it is all the more crucial to enhance the democratic character of elections and thus reinforce the link between the expression of the people and the actual outcome of the vote.
Free and fair elections can be held only where there exists an environment which seeks to provide popular participation, promotes human rights and guarantees fundamental freedoms, ensures accountability of the government, freedom of the judiciary, freedom of the press, and protects and respects political pluralism.
ICPC would like to emphasize that ethnically inspired divisive and prejudice politics have no place in modern democratic Kenya. We are fully aware that there will be no lasting peace unless we learn not merely to tolerate but even to respect the others political choices and opinions as our own. There is great strength in diversity. Countries that celebrate diversity and embrace every single individual are secure and stable enjoying diverse and vibrant democracy. They are champion of the rights, dignity and equality of all people. Those countries value and practice tolerance despite political differences in choices