17 January 2013

Kenya: Glitches Force TNA to Extend Polls to Friday

Nairobi — The National Alliance Party has extended its party nominations to Friday in specific centres which experienced long delays in receiving voting materials.

The party primaries in the affected areas are set to begin at 6am on Friday and end at noon, according to the Elections Board Chairman Stephen Omenge.

Omenge said the party had however done everything possible to ensure the exercise goes on smoothly "but was let down by IEBC which failed to supply them with the voters' register in time."

"We would like to apologise for the late delivery of ballot papers at the various polling centres. This was occasioned by the late receipt of the register from IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission), which was received by 3pm yesterday," Omenge told journalist at a press conference.

However the IEBC immediately dismissed claims that they were to blame for the delay in starting nominations in time.

IEBC Communications Manager Tabitha Mutemi said it was the responsibility of individual parties to collect the registers and that the commission had no business delivering them to anybody.

"The IEBC was not to deliver any election material on behalf of any party including voter registers," she asserted.

TNA National Chairman Johnson Sakaja said all nominations certificates would be issued at the end of the whole exercise on Friday including those who will have won in centres which had already received their materials.

He assured the candidates and supporters that the exercise will be transparent despite the hiccups.

"We want this process to be done by our members only and that is why we will wait until tomorrow. We want to assure our candidates that nobody has been favoured, that nobody has a direct nomination anywhere in this country, and even those who are unopposed will get certificates after the entire process is done," Sakaja said.

"We apologise once again to our members. This was beyond our control. Candidates have waited for this moment for five years. We would rather wait for more few hours and get it right," party's Secretary General Onyango Oloo also assured supporters.

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