By Elections Policy Brief

The 2013 electoral process was marred with major challenges that were associated with voter education, voter registration, party primaries, procurement of electoral materials and equipment, election day procedures and election disputes that resulted in a significant section of stakeholders including election observers to term the process as neither fully credible nor transparent. The conduct and outcome of the elections was contested and consequentially one hundred and eighty seven (187) election petitions1 arose in respect of the elections. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) which is mandated by the Constitution of Kenya2 to conduct or supervise elections including inter-alia registration of voters, regulation of the political parties’ nomination process, voter education and settlement of specific electoral disputes; has admitted to the challenges that were noted by observers. IEBC has agreed to make improvements or changes to ensure that future electoral processes are free, fair, transparent and credible. The by-elections conducted after the 2013 general elections therefore provided an important avenue to note any improvements in the conduct and management of elections. 187 election petitions were filed to contest the conduct and outcome of the 2013 general elections . Among these, 263 were successful and occasioned the conduct of by-elections. Besides petitions, the IEBC also conducted some by-elections that were as a result of other factors such as the untimely demise of incumbent legislators In a bid to ensure that the forthcoming 2017 elections move closer to the constitutional ideal of being free, fair, transparent and credible; KHRC sought to evaluate the post-2013 election period. This was done by monitoring by-elections as part of broader interventions seeking to harness the lessons from the 2013 polls.
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