13 November 2012

Kenya: IEBC Set to Start Voter Registration Next Week

THE nationwide voter registration will commence on Monday next week, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has announced.

IEBC chairman Isaack Hassan said the commission settled on the date because staff training and logistic program details will be in place. The exercise is scheduled to last for 30 days.

Subsequently, Hassan decried negative criticism leveled against the commission by the media saying the unfair condemnations are slowing down their operations.

"We will not let Kenyans down. We have the ability to deliver credible elections to Kenyans. Unfair criticisms, negative energy is what is bogging us down," Hassan said during Directorate of Voter Education and partnership BVR open day.

On the commencement of the biometric voter registration, Hassan said 30,000 clerks who are currently under training will be inducted by Friday this week in readiness to carry out the exercise.

"We have resolved that November 19 is the date to start the voter registration that will last for the 30 days. there will be no extensions because of the limited time. We urge Kenyans to come out and register as voters and we request for their support to make this a success. Elections are too important to be left to IEBC alone," Hassan said.

The commission said the public will have fifteen days to check the register to verify their voter details when the registration concludes on December 19.

Earlier plans by the IEBC to roll out the exercise at the beginning of this month were thwarted by late arrival of the BVR kits. Hassan said they have mapped out 25,000 registration centres which will be gazetted in the course of the week and published in major local dailies.

IEBC CEO James Oswago said they are targeting to have registered over 18 million voters by the end of the exercise. He said 22.6 million Kenyans are legible to be listed as voters.

Oswago said the 16,000 BVR kits will be shared within the earmarked 25,000 registration centers. "We don't have kits for every centre, but they are enough," Oswago said.

He said they will engage 79 radio stations, including the vernacular and regional FM stations, to pass messages on registration and other voter education details.

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