National Consultative Dialogue Forum Towards Electoral Reforms in Kenya

Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD-Kenya) in partnership with International IDEA organized a two-day consultative dialogue forum with civil society organizations and political parties on electoral reform agenda. The dialogue forums were held on 5th for CSOs and other non-state actors and 6th September 2019 for political parties represented mainly by senior members at Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi, to deliberate, input and shape the ongoing debate on electoral reforms in Kenya.

Anchored on the background that though Kenya is often regarded as a progressive democracy in the East African region, the country’s journey towards democratic consolidation has been characterized by fortitude and inconsistencies that mixes development and recession in almost equal measure. Since the introduction of multiparty politics in Kenya, almost every election has been marred by ethnic conflict, violence and destruction of properties, which revolves around election management.

Discussions during the two days were centered around key themes that best reflect the subject of electoral reforms, with emphasis on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). The key themes discussed during the sessions were led by external experts with experience in democratic governance, with a bias on electoral reforms which included Electoral reforms in Kenya and the spectrum of the proposed reforms in IEBC and Strategic entry points for advancing national discourse on electoral reforms with emphasis on IEBC.

The two meetings identified existent of 3 proposals to amend the IEBC Act and the need to have them harmonized to hasten the process of constituting a fully-fledged IEBC forward. Additionally, the proposals stated the need to create an enabling environment for IEBC in-order for them to carry out their objectives which include institutionalization of political parties to perform their internal affairs in accordance with the regulations and enactment of enabling laws and regulations such party primaries and campaign financing laws.

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