EISA conducted party poll watching training for three by-elections in Kenya. The by-elections were necessitated by successful election petitions that resulted in the nullification of the election in the constituencies. The training was conducted in Kirinyaga, Ikolomani and Kamukunji constituencies. The content for the training was jointly developed by EISA and the office of the Registrar of Political Parties. The topics covered provided practical scenarios during elections and were designed to equip the party poll-watchers with skills, knowledge and expertise to enable them to be effective and professional in conducting their duties as party poll-watchers.
EISA conducted party poll watch agents training for four by-elections necessitated by the nullification of election results in their respective regions. Recognising the importance of the role that party poll-watchers play in building confidence in the electoral process, as well as in reducing mistakes and incidents of election rigging, the content was designed to build the capacity of party poll-watchers with skills, knowledge and expertise to enable them to be effective and professional in conducting their duties as party poll-watchers.
The new Constitution not only recognised political parties as being institutions of public governance, but also bestowed upon them new roles and responsibilities. In response to the need to strengthen the capacity of and institutionalise political parties, in line with the new requirements, EISA assisted parties in setting standards for effective operation. This was achieved through an in-country Benchmarking Workshop for the major political parties, which specifically aimed at enhancing capacity of political parties to be effective, accountable and responsive, transparent, as well as be internally democratic.
The workshop addressed the question of how political parties ought to be institutionalised and succeeded in taking stock of the performance of political parties in Kenya, as well as developing and setting standards for democratic political parties. As a follow-up to the in-country Benchmarking Workshop, representatives of Kenyan political parties then participated in EISA's 2010 Symposium, which developed Benchmarks for Enhanced Political Party Performance for Democratic Governance in Africa.
EISA has also begun consulting with key political parties in Kenya. On 29 June 2010, EISA held a meeting with Hon Danson Mungatana, Secretary General of Narc-Kenya to discuss the political parties programme envisioned under ADS II. NARC-Kenya agreed to support and partner with EISA. In the coming weeks, EISA will hold discussions with other key Kenyan political parties to discuss the various activities being planned.