'EU must demand Kenya recount'

2 January 2008

'EU must demand Kenya recount'

The SP is asking the European Union to demand a recount under independent supervision of the votes in the Kenyan elections, in order to prevent the further escalation of violence. SP Senator Eric Smaling,who was present in Kenya as an official election observer, and Member of Parliament Ewout Irrgang, the party's spokesman on development issues, are urging the EU to act.

Eric SmalingThe two are putting forward the proposal in response to the chaos in Kenya in the aftermath of the elections of 27th December. According to Senator Eric Smaling, who was in Kenya from 20th to the 31st December, first of all in the capital city of Nairobi and then in the south-western town of Kisii, the elections in the local polling stations were conducted fairly and honestly. The problems lay rather with the central election commission which counted the votes in Nairobi. "In my voting district, which contained a total of 140 polling stations, there were sound controls and transparency. But what happened to the votes when they reached Nairobi no-one actually knows," said Smaling. The SP has called on Development Minister Bert Koenders and Secretary of State for European Affairs Frans Timmermans to bring pressure to bear at European level in favour of a recount.

The EU last Monday demanded an independent enquiry into the conduct of the presidential elections, but the SP would like to see it adopting a more active stance. "An independent enquiry would be a fine thing, but it still wouldn't mean a recount. In order to restore the country to peace the question of whether there has been cheating will have to be looked into, and whether the figures at the local polling stations match those in Nairobi. This can only be achieved by a recount of the votes."

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