The Star (Nairobi)

8 October 2012

Kenya: Separatist Group Threatens Election - Official

Three people are reported dead following a gunfight near the home of Mombasa Republican Council leader Omar Mwamnuadzi this morning. An assistant ... ( Resource: Three Killed in Separatist Group Crackdown

THE Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission is a visible target by the Mombasa Republican Council at the Coast, chairman Isaac Hassan has said.

Hassan has expressed fear that MRC could interrupt voter registration at the Coast and possibly disrupt next year's elections in the region.

"MRC have attacked our officers and have continued to send threatening messages to some of our officers. This is a clear indication that they might interrupt with IEBC activities," said Hassan.

The IEBC boss said the group, which has denounced elections in the Coast region, is attacking the electoral body to gain publicity.

Speaking at Whitesands Beach Hotel where Radio Africa Group hosted a stakeholders meeting on the future for media and advertising, Hassan faulted MRC for transferring their aggression to the wrong people.

He said issues of marginalisation raised by the group need a political redress and urged the government to engage the group in finding a solution.

He said the commission has taken the necessary measures to counter MRC's possible move to interrupt the general election.

"We have engaged the government, churches, and mosques among other stakeholders in sensitising the public on the importance of peacefully and democratically participating in elections. The issue of 'Pwani si Kenya' cannot be contained," said Hassan.

The slogan 'Pwani si Kenya' (Coast is not part of Kenya), is MRC's trade mark as they call for secession of the region from the Kenya boundaries.

He said IEBC is engaging the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and the government to reach Coast residents on voter education.

He said public voter education and training of IEBC officials has started to ensure the country holds a peaceful and fair election.

"Voter education is the key to bringing peaceful elections," said Hassan. Meanwhile, Hassan has dismissed claims that IEBC is not ready for next year's elections.

He said the electoral body is well prepared to deliver a free and fair election. Hassan said the Biometric Voter Registration kits from Canada and France are expected to arrive in the country today. He called on Coast residents to register as voters and participate in election next year.

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