Kenya’s electoral body extends voting after floods in some areas

Kenyans on a queue voting. [Photo Credit: CNN.com]
Kenyans on a queue voting. [Photo Credit: CNN.com]

Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Tuesday extended voting period for regions where heavy rains and flooding made it hard for voters to reach the poll centers in the remote northern region of Turkana.

IEBC Chairman, Wafula Chebukati, told a media briefing in Nairobi that majority of the polling stations opened on time.

“We wish to assure you all that for the polling stations that opened late, we will compensate the time by extending the voting period by the same amount of hours that were lost before opening,” he said.

Chebukati said the robustness of the voting kit, the Kenya Integrated Elections Managements System (KIEMS) system provided various voter identification options, which have provided voters with a remarkable voting experience.

IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba said at least 7.84 million people, equal to 40 per cent of the voters successfully voted based on a count of 25,000 voter identification kits reporting by 2 p.m. local time.

He also said that a full count was expected by 6 p.m., an hour after the poll centres closed in Kenya’s landmark general elections.

Chiloba said the figure of the voters does not includes those who voted manually without using the electronic voter identification devices.

However, a full outcome would increase when 40,833 kits report.

“We are monitoring the turnout. The 40 per cent turnout is based on 25,000 kits reporting.

“We should have the full interim report on the voter turnout later,” Chiloba told a news conference.

Chiloba said it would take longer to get the specific details of the voters who used the kits.

Voting in Turkana was affected by heavy rains and flooding, which made it harder for the voters to reach the poll centers.

In Turkana’s Kapedo Township, where Presidential candidate Aukot Ekuru, was unable to cast his ballot, the IEBC said it would extend voting until midnight and could be extended until Wednesday.

“If we start now, we have to give the voters 12 hours, even if it means going beyond the 12 hours, we will have to finish,” Chiloba said.

Meanwhile, opposition presidential chief agent, Musalia Mudavadi, hailed the IEBC and the police for conducting the presidential elections in a fair manner.

He said some security officers were, however, contributing towards campaigns at the polling stations and mobilizing voters.

Mudavadi said his party; the National Super Alliance was concerned about pre-marked ballot papers which was prevalent across many polling centers. “Kenyans deserve the highest standards of honesty,” he said.

The IEBC said it would prosecute officers caught in bribery and electoral offenses.

“Any electoral offence would be prosecuted. We are working with the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP),” said Chiloba. (Xinhua/NAN)


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