15 October 2012

Kenya: Voter Registration Still On Course

The last batch of the biometric voter registration kit supplied to Kenya by a Canadian firm, will arrive in the country by the end of October.

IEBC chairman Issack Hassan speaking in Mombasa said that of the 15,000 kits expected, 196 arrived on Monday last week along with 1,500 fingerprint readers.

He added that to facilitate voter registration, the commission has employed and embarked on training 50,000 electoral clerks to be posted in the 25,000 polling stations country wide. Additional electoral clerks have been employed to cater to voters in the diaspora.

The voter registration process had initially been slated for August this year, but a delay in procurement of the biometric equipment pushed to November and will be conducted for a period of 30 days.

Hassan said that the commission is looking to register at least 80 per cent of the eligible voters in the country. "There are 22 million eligible voters but if we can get 18 million on the register that will be a very good start," said Hassan.

He pointed out that urgent attention needs to be directed to calls of election boycott in Coast province by the Mombasa Republican Council.

He said that the government should engage them (MRC) to address their grievances some of which are valid, but which he said can only be solved through political intervention and good will.

Additionally he decried the watering down of the integrity bill which was passed into an act of parliament with less stringent requirements on candidates.

He said that while the commission respects the Legislature exercising its power, the IEBC will join the Constitution Implementation Committee (CIC) who had already filed a case, to push for the reversal of the law. "We know that CIC has gone to court to challenge that. We are going to join them as interested parties," He said.

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