Kenya electoral commission assures of transparent polls

The Chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Ahmed Issack Hassan, on Thursday, called on Kenyans to remain calm, saying his office has finalised all plans to curtail any election malpractices.
Hassan (C) addresses the media, yesterday, flanked by Abdulrahman Kinana (L), the head of EAC observers, and Veke Mubako of Comesa. The New Times/ Courtesy.
Hassan (C) addresses the media, yesterday, flanked by Abdulrahman Kinana (L), the head of EAC observers, and Veke Mubako of Comesa. The New Times/ Courtesy.

The Chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Ahmed Issack Hassan, on Thursday, called on Kenyans to remain calm, saying his office has finalised all plans to curtail any election malpractices.

With memories of the 2007 post-election violence still fresh in the minds of Kenyans, there is still uncertainty on what may be the final outcome of the March 4 election.

“Our people have no cause to worry because we have organised these elections very well,” Hassan told the different heads of the observer missions of the East African Community (EAC), Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

 “The only worry may be the longer periods of voting, especially in the densely-populated areas. But for as long as they are in the line by 5pm, they will be allowed to vote because that is a legal requirement,” the IEBC chief added.

Hassan said his office has come up with a list of 13,000 people, who registered more than once, and that their names have been sent to polling stations so they can be arrested if they turn up to vote.

Regional observers deploy

Menwhile, EAC, Comesa and IGAD election observers will today be deployed in different counties after three days of training on code of conduct of international election observers.

In a related development, during a presentation made to election observers, yesterday, the Executive Director of The National Alliance (TNA), Winnie Guchu, complained that the electoral commission has designated huge numbers of people to vote in a particular polling station yet few polling officials have been assigned to supervise them. “We’ve seen numbers even going up to 800 and sometimes even up to 1,000 voters per polling station. With a high voter turnout we think that some voters may be discouraged because of the long queues and give up and go home,” she said.

TNA’s presidential aspirant is Uhuru Kenyatta with Eldoret North MP William Ruto (the United Republican Party) as his running mate. Both men have been charged with crimes against humanity at The Hague-based International Criminal Court.

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