The President and CEO of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Bill Sweeney, called the March 4 Kenyan elections, an “enormous achievement due to the leadership, courage and determination of the leadership of Kenya and international community all who worked together to produce a peaceful democratic result.”
His remarks came on June 12, during an IFES hosted panel discussion on Kenya's successful elections, that examined lessons learned in order to strengthen the management of future elections. Issack Hassan, Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and Michael Yard, IFES' Chief of Party in Kenya participated in the discussion.
Chairman Hassan commented that voter education was very successful, reaching 86 percent of the 14.3 million registered voters, through advertisements, radio, television and community and faith-based organizations. He added that new technology, such as biometric voter registration and electronic voting also helped to increase the credibility of the elections. Hassan also noted the importance of security in the election, for which 98,000 police officers were trained to enforce electoral laws throughout the country.
Hassan ended his remarks by saying “many in Kenya believe that the IEBC did well despite the challenges and that we can improve more.”
Sweeney said, “For the Kenyan team, to have accomplished as much as they did measured against any other election administration body in the world would have been a great accomplishment. To have accomplished it in such a fragile period was remarkable… we believe you have done a terrific job”
To watch a video of the event click here.