Kenyan voters to choose MP in June

March 26, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 26 – The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) on Friday announced that the South Mugirango by-election would be held on  June 10.

IIEC Chairman Issack Hassan said the commission received writs from National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende on March 16, after which the law required it to hold a by-election within 90 days.

The by-election follows court nullification of the 2007 parliamentary results where former MP Omingo Magara had been declared winner due to irregularities.

“Political parties wishing to participate in the by-elections must finalise their nomination process on or before May 9,” Mr Hassan said.

“Thereafter we are going to hold two days for nominations of the candidates for the by-elections in South Mugirango – on May 17 and 18,” he added.

Mr Hassan however said they were yet to receive writs for the Matuga parliamentary seat which also fell vacant after former MP Chirau Ali Mwakwere lost a petition due to irregularities.

“What we have received was a letter from the Speaker asking for the commission’s state of preparedness for the holding of the by-elections which we have responded to. The Speaker has now issued a notice in the Kenya gazette. It will expire in two months after which we will receive the writs from him,” he explained.

Meanwhile, the voter registration exercise has reported an estimated 700,000 persons registered since Monday.

Mr Hassan said there were logistical challenges in parts of the country especially Tana River, North Horr and parts of Lodwar where the commission had to hire helicopters to transport materials and officials to some of the areas.

“Overall, we have now managed to reach all parts of the country and the exercise is going on well. We are still receiving our reports from the regions and we will be able to give you a clear picture on Monday once we have all the reports coming in by Sunday,” he said.

The IIEC chairman however expressed optimism that the 45-day timeline for registration that the commission had given would be enough if Kenyans cooperated.

“If Kenyans came out in large numbers and registered every day from Monday to Sunday 8am to 5pm, we will still get more than 10 million registered voters,” he said.

“But if we wait until the last minute and then start having people rushing, that’s where we are going to have a problem.”

He however said the commission would review the situation after three weeks and would inform the public accordingly if they felt a need to extend the deadline.


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