20 December 2012

Kenya: 14.3 Million Voters Registered for 2013 Poll

Nairobi — A total of 14.3 million Kenyans were registered as voters as at close of the month-long exercise on Tuesday.

According to statistics released by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Nairobi registered the highest number of voters, enlisting 1.78 million people representing 121 percent of the target the commission set in the county.

The IEBC has however pointed out that the figures are provisional and could change once the register is compiled fully.

"Please note that the just-released voter registration figures are preliminary/provisional that are bound to change slightly once the final register is compiled," the IEBC clarified.

Kiambu was second in the list of counties registering 860,716 (113 percent of the expected number) while Nyeri with 357,105 Lamu at 51,830 and Kirinyaga with 262,715 voters completed the list of the five top counties.

On the lower end, Mandera County was last among counties registering 121,005 people (25 percent) followed by Turkana County with 120,435 representing 25.3 percent of the estimated voter population.

Wajir County at 110,286 also lies at the bottom end representing 40 percent of the estimated voter population with Garissa at 116,166 voters while West Pokot has 107,894 making the bottom five.

Among constituencies, those in Nairobi recorded the highest figures with Starehe recording 138,640 nearly 180 percent of the number anticipated, followed by Westlands at 122,446 voters.

Kajiado North constituency which has both urban and rural settings also recorded impressive turnout registering 106,132 voters followed by Roysambu and Embakasi South constituencies both with 111,000 voters.

Last among the 290 constituencies was Turkana East which registered 9,375 voters followed by Lagdera constituency which recorded 12,573 representing 29.1 percent of the estimated voting population.

The voter registration exercise was launched nationally by President Mwai Kibaki on November 19 with the IEBC expecting to register 18 million voters.

The number of registered voters is expected to rise slightly, with Kenyans living in the East African region still being enlisted until December 25.

In Dar-es-Salaam and Arusha the registration exercise started on Friday where everyone who is 18 years of age and with a valid passport is allowed to register.

In Uganda, the registration booths are in Kampala at the Kenya High Commission while in Rwanda registration is taking place in Kigali at the Kenyan Embassy, while in Burundi registration booths are in Bujumbura at the Kenyan mission.

The IEBC is expected to proceed with the compiling with the voter register and later to open the roll for inspection before it is gazetted.

The commission through the Ministry of Justice has already presented an amendment to the Elections Act in Parliament seeking to reduce the period of verification by voters and the publication of the voters register from 30 to 15 days.

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