IEBC Suspends Voter Registration In Four Devolved Units

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IEBC Suspends Voter Registration In Four Devolved Units
IEBC Suspends Voter Registration In Four Devolved Units

Africa-PressKenya. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Monday, October 11, announced the suspension of voter registration in four counties.

In a statement released by the IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, the commission announced that it has called off the enrollment of voters in Kiambaa constituency and three other devolved units.

Eligible voters in Nguu/Masumba (Makueni), Mahoo (Taita Taveta) and Kiagu (Meru) County assembly wards will also have to wait before being enrolled as voters. The Chebukati-led commission explained that the units either had pending court cases or had upcoming by-elections.

The decision was made pursuant to Section 5 of the Elections Act. Subsection 1 (b) which states that the voter registration will not be held in case of a by-election, between the date of the declaration of the vacancy of the seat concerned and the date of the election.

The law further states that voters cannot register or transfer their vote to an area where an election petition is filed in respect of the same until the case is determined by the court.

In Kiambaa, there is a pending matter in court. Jubilee Party candidate Kariri Njama filed a petition challenging the victory of United Democratic Alliance candidate Njuguna Wanjiku. Chebukati further explained that the High Court in Meru County issued conservatory orders restraining the commission from conducting elections.

Masumba and Mahoo wards are scheduled to have by-elections on October 14 and December 16, respectively.

On October 4, the electoral agency launched the Enhanced Continuous Voter Registration drive. IEBC targets to enroll 6 million new voters in thirty days.

However, in their update, the commission decried a low turn-out. It had only registered 202,518 new voters accounting for only 13.5 percent of its weekly target of 1.5 million.

IEBC had initially announced changes to the process owing to budget constraints, stating that it would only have one registration centre per ward.

Several leaders including Deputy President William Ruto, Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Amani National Congress (ANC) Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi have sensitised the youth to register as voters.

Members of parliament have offered incentives as well as conditions to the electorate in a bid to mobilise them to enroll as voters. Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati offered free sodas for registered voters while South Mugirango MP warned his constituents that they would miss out on bursaries if they did not register as voters.

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