9 January 2013

Kenya: Voter Register Scrutiny to Start Tuesday

Nairobi — The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will release the official voter register on Tuesday to enable Kenyans verify their details.

While briefing President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday on IEBC's readiness for the election, commission chairman Issack Hassan said there are 33,000 polling stations set up for voting.

Each of the polling stations is expected to cater for a maximum 450 voters per day.

Commissioner Muthoni Wangai earlier said voters can also verify their details via text messages.

"We'll have two methods of the verification of your registration. One will be by SMS messaging and the other one by physically visiting the polling centre or the registration centre that you used to register."

During voter registration, there were 25,000 centres countrywide in the exercise that concluded on December 18 with 15,000 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits used to capture voters' details.

A total of 14.9 million Kenyans were registered in the month long exercise that initially targeted 18 million Kenyans.

The IEBC Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs Tabitha Mutemi later told Capital FM News that Kenyans will be given a fortnight to verify their details: "Voter inspection runs for 14 days according to the law."

The president impressed upon the IEBC the urgency of carrying out voter education given it is the first time Kenyans are going to the ballot under a new constitution and unlike in previous years, will be selecting not only national assembly representatives but Senators, Governors and County representatives as well.

Hassan assured the president that all the electoral material had already been procured in readiness for the elections.

The briefing held at the president's office in Harambee House was also attended by Internal Security Minister Katoo ole Metito.

The Head of State guaranteed Kenyans of security as party's carry out their nominations and during the March 4 general elections.

"Security will be given priority and the government would mobilise officers from all government security agencies to ensure a secure and peaceful election," a statement from the Presidential Press Service (PPS) said.

A later meeting has been set up between the IEBC, the National Police Service and the Provincial Administration to further discuss issues of security.

Even then, Wangai has called on Kenyans to take part in the voting exercise responsibly to prevent the recurrence of the post election violence that followed the 2007 general elections.

"We are asking you as we deal with the voter registration we approach this processes with maturity starting with party primaries and thereafter the final nominations and the elections which are coming very soon."

On the subject of nominations, Hassan said dispute regulations have been developed and Political Party Liaison Committees established at both the National and County level.

The release of election results was also addressed at the briefing with Hassan saying the results would be released as they come in and in the event of the machines failure, print outs will be made available to the press to be stationed at a media centre planned for the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).

Also present at the president's briefing were Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa, Head of Civil Service and Cabinet Secretary Francis Kimemia and Attorney General Githu Muigai.

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