14 March 2013

Kenya: Polls Date Out

The much-awaited Athletics Kenya (AK) elections will now be held early next month.

The elections have been postponed four times with the latest prompted by last week's general elections. The polls were initially set for November last year before being moved to February 27 and again to March 19. The polls kick off with the county elections on April 3, regional (April 10) and the national level on (April 17).

AK chairman Isaiah Kiplagat yesterday said the polls will start at the county level and not constituency level as earlier planned. This, he said, was due to the limited number of registered members from some of the constituencies. He gave Kiambu as an example, saying some of its constituencies have no single registered member while the county has 59.

"According to our constitution, an Annual General Meeting can only be held if there is a minimum of 30 delegates," said Kiplagat.

He said they are anticipating free and fair elections and called on all the interested parties to acquire nomination forms from the committee that was in charge of members registration.

"We don't want a situation where anyone will be locked out of the process. Any interested parties should get the necessary forms from the committee and then go ahead to ask for votes from the electorate," said Kiplagat.

He also revealed that aspirants interested in a position at the national office are not required to go through the county or regional levels. Kiplagat took time to congratulate president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto after emerging victorious in last week's general elections.

"We hope that they will fulfill their election pledges regarding sports including construction of stadiums," said Kiplagat. He also appealed to the two to appoint a professional as a sports minister to help implement the Sports Act which will ultimately help in the development of sports in the country.

He also hailed the various active and retired sportsmen who were elected tor the various posts, saying that their presence in power positions will help influence sports development.

"We are certain that their presence will ensure our voices are heard," said Kiplagat. Among the athletes elected are Boston Marathon champion Wesley Korir and former runner Elijah Lagat.

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