The road map to a comprehensive solution to Kenya’s post- election crisis has been rolled up with the formation of an international panel of distinguished electoral officials to undertake an audit of the flawed elections.
The panel will undertake an audit of the electoral process in Kenya within a period of six months before making its recommendations on the kind of reforms needed to avoid the flaws which dragged Kenya into an orgy of violence blamed on tribal hatred.
Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the mediating team, which he headed in order to seek a solution to the post-election crisis, had agreed on a package of reforms called “milestones and benchmarks” required for the Kenya.
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) has agreed to share power with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) but the exact terms of the grand coalition are still unknown. Annan said he had asked for a joint meeting of the two. “I will meet with them to ask them to allow their teams to reach a compromise on the power-sharing. This is the only outstanding issue,” Annan disclosed.
The panel of election monitors will consist of distinguished Kenyan election scholars jointly working with international election experts. It will carry out a review of the previous elections and its verdict will determine whether Kenya goes back to polls.
The new election team is to be given a non-judicial role. Annan said it would review the elections, the process and the procedures, and recommend a dispute resolution mechanism for Kenya. It will probe all aspects of the presidential elections.
The team will begin its work on 15 March with its deadline expiring in six months. The team’s report, the parties agreed, would become part of the Kenyan constitution.
The new panel is required to make its findings public within 14 days after finishing the work in what might see the East African nation return to the polls.
But elections would be done after a new constitution is put in place. The negotiators disagreed on whether there was need to have a re-run of the elections. The talks will kick-off on Monday with a view to establishing a compressive roadmap for peace. “We have to make sure they do not fail. We are all aware of the danger. We have all seen the killings. They have to work together in parliament,” Annan said.
Meanwhile, the teams negotiating on behalf of the government and the opposition have also agreed on a set of measures to end the impasse, including addressing land reforms. They have agreed to deal with youth unemployment and reform of the national revenue system.
The team has also struck an accord on issues of tackling graft and public service reforms, which have been dominated by the appointments from one community.