The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations is holding a hearing Wednesday morning, March 18, on U.S. Election Support in Africa.
Good. Unfortunately, as was that much more conspicuous with the hearing about the 2013 Kenyan election, the subcommittee has scheduled testimony from the IFES/NDI/IRI troika, but without the Carter Center scheduled. The Carter Center conducted the USAID-funded Election Observation Mission itself for Kenya in 2013, so the omission was hard to understand on a hearing on that very election; it is still hard to understand for an Africa-wide hearing. (I have no idea why things have turned out this way, I am simply making the point that Congress would have an opportunity to be better informed if this wasn’t just an “all in the Beltway” experience.)
For Kenya’s last vote, see Carter Center quietly publishes strikingly critical Final Report from Kenya Election Observation.
For further discussion of the Subcommittee’s April 2013 Kenya hearing, see AfriCOG’s Seema Shah asks in Foreign Policy: “Are U.S. Election Watchdogs Enabling Bad Behavior in Kenya?”
In new developments, now with the British #Chickengate prosecutions for bribing Kenyan election officials: USAID Inspector General should take a hard look at Kenya’s election procurements supported by U.S. taxpayers.
The Carter Center also observed the 2002 and 1997 elections in Kenya, along with many others, including the most recent election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2011 which provides perhaps another set of lessons as the Kabila government arrests democracy supporters and even a U.S. diplomat.
DRC: “We have to debunk the idea that it is peace versus transparent elections. The idea that lousy elections are going to bring peace is madness.”
Carter Center calls it as they see it in DRC
U.S. and other Western donors support review of election irregularities in DRC–offer technical assistance.
State Department to Kabila on DRC Presidential Election: “Nevermind”?
The USG has demonstrated no real interest in the substance of the elections it funds and promotes; the form is good enough so long as the outcome is peaceful! Massive failures of US funded technology during the 2013 elections in Kenya has been swept under the carpet by State because the goal of all the spending is not democracy but maintenance of peace and order. Lots of US people,NGOs and companies benefit financially by playing democracy games prior to and during African elections; smiles and gold stars all around.