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Chebukati laments wave of coups in Africa that are ‘disrupting democracy’

The former chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Wafula Chebukati, has expressed fears over the wave of military coups that have been staged in some countries in Africa.

According to Mr Chebukati, the election-related military coups are disrupting democratic gains.

“The avalanche of election-related military coups in Africa disrupts democratic gains. In most of these elections, observers were excluded from the electoral process,” Chebukati said.

His remarks come days after the Gabonese military annulled the results of the presidential election, which indicated that the incumbent (now deposed) President Ali Bongo Ondimba had won.

Chebukati also explained the importance of having election observers in every election, as they contribute to the transparency and accountability of an election result.

Also read: Guinea, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Gabon….the season of military coups

In his recent presentation on the role of technology in shaping transparency in elections, Mr Chebukati stated that the outcome of the 2022 elections in Kenya saw both foreign and local observer groups praising the IEBC’s successful use of technology to improve election integrity.

However, contrary to Chebukati’s remarks, former IEBC Commissioner Dr Roselyn Akombe said the continent first needs to address the scourge of manipulated elections.

“The wave of coups shall continue until as a continent we have the courage to address the scourge of manipulated elections, constitutional coups and leadership/governance deficits,” Dr Akombe said through a post on X platform.

Also read: Chebukati says 2022 General Elections were the fairest polls in Kenya’s history

This comes as a section of opposition leaders in Kenya continue to dispute the outcome of the 2022 election, which saw President William Ruto declared the winner and the result upheld by the Supreme Court.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has maintained that the will of the people was subverted to please a section of the political divide. He has also repeatedly accused Mr Chebukati of overseeing a flawed exercise, accusations which the later has denied.

In an effort to push the Kenya Kwanza administration to open the IEBC servers, among other demands, the opposition organized a series of demonstrations which turned violent and deadly.

The opposition has since called off the demonstrations to pave way for talks between the government and the opposition to thrash out their differences with the government.

Also read: How we conducted the 2022 elections – ex-IEBC boss Wafula Chebukati