The Star (Nairobi)

23 September 2012

Kenya: The IEBC's Promise to the Citizens

Photo: Capital FM
The BVR kits are expected to prevent the occurrence of double registration (file photo).

The IEBC has assured the public that the next general election will be held on March 4 as initially planned and dismissed claims by politicians there is a scheme to extend the date to August next year. "We're ready to conduct elections on March 4 and those suggesting there are plans to extend the date are misleading Kenyans," Isaack Hassan, the chairman told the CIOC.

Isaack said there will be no postponement of the date of the elections the commission has set pleading with the political class for support and goodwill. "We also need the support of parliament and all politicians. Parliament must urgently pass the elections regulations before the House to become part of the laws of Kenya," he said, pointing out the commission has finalised plans to launch voter education manual and curriculum.

Isaack was speaking at Lilian Towers when he joined members of the public in following the transmission of results of the three by-elections conducted on Monday might. "IEBC has started a journey to conduct free, fair and peaceful elections. We shall keep the faith, put in a good fight and finish the race," he said.

He announced the results of the general election will be transmitted electronically. "It is a complex system that we have used in the past and we intend to improve on it for the general elections," he said. The system requires the use of ordinary mobile phones that will be handed over to Returning Officers. Results from each polling station will be tallied and fed into the phone which will be conected to a central production unit at the IEBC headquarters.

The returning officer will feed the results into the phone and transmit it to the National tallying centre in Nairobi. The commission has decided to establish three levels of tallying centres. The first will be at the constituency level where results of MPs and county representatives will be counted and the winner announced by the Returning Officer.

The second will be at the county level which will announce results of the governor, senator and the Woman county representatives. The third level will be the national tallying centre where the tallying of the presidential contest will be made before the final announcement is made.

"We have decided that the presidential results will be transmitted first, so that Kenyans have an opportunity to see the results in real time," he said. IEBC CEO James Oswago told the meeting BVR kits the commission has procured have the capacity to register 22.5 million voters in one month.

He said out of the 15,000 kits the commission has procured each of the 1,450 wards in the country will receive 10 kits. "A single kit can on average register up to 50 voters per day. If we get all the 15,000 kits then we can register 15 million voters in 20 days and 22.5 million voters in 30 days," he told the commission yesterday.

Oswago revealed the challenge is not about the ability of IEBC to meet the targets using BVR. "The challenge is how to mobilise to ensure that Kenyans come out in large numbers to register as voters."

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