Demonstrators storm electoral
Monday 10 March 2008
An Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) meeting was disrupted
Monday when members of the civil society stormed the venue to
demand the immediate resignation of its embattled chairperson
Samuel Kivuitu and his 22 subordinates.
The civil society members, who were in a retreat at a hotel at
this coastal town where ECK was meeting, accused Mr. Kivuitu and
the other commissioners of being responsible for the recent
political chaos that drove the East African nation to almost a
The demonstrators demanded that ECK officials be ejected from the
hotel as "they were a disgrace to the nation and were misusing
public resources after plunging the country into chaos." Police
had to be called in to prevent the demonstrators from evicting the
Since the UN-brokered power-sharing deal was signed between
President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) and
opposition Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), pressure has been
mounting on Kenya’s electoral body to disband to pave the way for
the reconstitution of an independent replacement.
Prominent lawyer and politician Paul Muite was quoted here Monday
in a daily newspaper as calling for the investigation of ECK "with
a view to pressing criminal charges against them".
"The ECK must be disbanded immediately or at the very least step
aside to pave the way for independent investigations of its
conduct of the 2007 general election," Mr. Muite said.
The fate of ECK will be known once an international team of
investigators that consists of prominent lawyers from South Africa,
Ghana and Malawi starts investigating the conduct of the 27
December disputed presidential poll.
A schedule released last week by UN mediators that are currently
meeting in the Kenyan capital to find long-term solutions to the
country’s long-standing political disputes shows international
investigators with the backing of the African Union, United Sates
and European Union, will commence the process 15 March.
The process will take six months to complete.
ODM deputy leader Musalia Mudavadi said ECK had had the democratic
rights of the electorate after presiding over flawed election.
Mr. Mudavadi said, "Good ethical standard is that they should step
aside. ECK is not only facing a crisis locally but also