Now US exit poll shows Kibaki lost!

This from the International Republican Institute – contradictory statements on the election – the first released yesterday. Please do take the time to read how the IRI works to topple governments that they see as getting in the way of their desire for profits.

An exit poll carried out on behalf of a U.S. government-backed foundation indicates that Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki was defeated in last month’s disputed election rather than being re-elected as he claims, according to officials with knowledge of the document.

The poll by the Washington -based International Republican Institute — which hasn’t been publicly released— further undermines an election result that many international observers have described as flawed. The outcome has sparked protests and ethnically driven clashes that have killed hundreds.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga led Kibaki by roughly 8 percentage points in the poll, which surveyed voters as they left polling places during the election Dec. 27 , according to one senior Western official who’s seen the data and requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. That’s a sharp departure from the results that Kenyan election officials certified, which gave Kibaki a margin of 231,728 votes over Odinga, about 3 percentage points.

more…

In their December 28th statement they praise the elections as being “open.”

The delegation in particular was impressed with the depth of dedication on the part of Kenyan voters. Thousands stood patiently in line for hours to exercise their civic rights and participate in the political process, often expressing how important these elections were to them and their families.

Kenyans can be proud of the way in which they upheld the principles of democracy in this important election. At the polling stations observed by IRI’s teams, the process appeared open, and political party agents, domestic observers and international observers had the opportunity to witness the opening of the polls, voting and ballot counting. Election officials explained the process and rationale for their decisions on specific matters. Because of this, IRI’s delegation commends the efforts of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) and its thousands of poll workers, many of whom demonstrated initiative in ensuring the enfranchisement of voters in determining their leaders.

At the same time, there are areas which deserve redress in order to strengthen the current body of election law and regulations and further build confidence in the system. As happens in many elections around the world, the ECK must address the issue of polling stations opening late, voting materials being delivered in a timely manner and appropriately providing assistance to voters.

These guys are bad news

Through the International Republican Institute and the National Endowment for Democracy’s other core grantees, the U.S. ruling class carries out a global agenda in the shadows, with taxpayer funding. The IRI represents the far right wing of these grantees.

These organizations work in the shadows to support and direct assaults on democracy and people’s movements around the world. The IRI, for example, boasted about its support of elements behind the failed coup attempt against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. It actively funds and coordinates organizations working to destabilize the government of Cuba, even bragging about the increasing number of illegal disruptions it has supported there. It has provided resources to anti-democratic, extremist organizations throughout Eastern Europe. It aids and abets reactionary movements in Ecuador, Brazil, Palestine, Afghanistan, the Baltics, ad nauseum – for example, it coordinated a Conference of the Central and Eastern European Centre-Right Political Parties. Wherever and whenever any nation or people’s movement stands in the way of right-wing lust for profits and power, the IRI is there.

We must recognize the NED, the IRI, and their initiatives for what they are: right-wing shadow foreign policy institutions funded by taxpayers, yet subject to no meaningful oversight whatsoever. Certainly, they should be abolished altogether. But short of that, we must demand that they be de-privatized and that their activities be made public and subject to congressional review.

Some background on the IRI from NYT

the I.R.I. is closest to the [Bush] administration. President Bush picked its president, Lorne W. Craner, to run his administration’s democracy-building efforts. The institute, which works in more than 60 countries, has seen its federal financing nearly triple in three years, from $26 million in 2003 to $75 million in 2005. Last spring, at an I.R.I. fund-raiser, Mr. Bush called democracy-building “a growth industry.”

…Its board includes Republican foreign-policy heavyweights and lobbyists, and its chairman is Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican …The group’s financing comes from the Agency for International Development, as well as the State Department, foundations and corporations like Halliburton and Chevron.

More than its sister group, the International Republican Institute tends to work in countries “it views as being strategically important to U.S. national foreign policy interests,” according to a 1999 report by the international development agency.

If you want to know more about IRI start with Source Watch.

  • The Coup Connection : How an organization financed by the U.S. government has been promoting the overthrow of elected leaders abroad

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