Kenya poll proceeds despite hiccups

August 4, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 4 – The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) has said its officials and ballot materials have been salvaged after a boat nearly capsized in Garsen constituency.

IIEC Chairman Issack Hassan said the voting materials are now being distributed to the various polling stations.

“The ballot papers are safe and right now the rescue team is on course to take the presiding officials and the materials to the polling stations,” he said during a media briefing at the National Tallying Center at the Bomas of Kenya.

Initial reports had indicated that the ballot boxes and other referendum materials had been submerged in water but Mr Hassan clarified that the materials were not damaged and voting had begun.

In yet another incident, Mr Hassan said a vehicle overturned in Turkana Central but they have sent an aircraft to transport the polling materials to the four stations where they were destined.

“A vehicle carrying materials for Murgur, Meryer, and Achukut water points and Elela had an accident and therefore the materials are stuck at a place called Apokor. Some of our officials were injured but we have sent a helicopter at Ziwei to airlift those materials,” the chairman added.

Area residents have appealed to the Commission to give them more time to cast their ballots. Polling stations opened at 6am and are expected to close at 5pm although there is a provision to extend the time for those stations that opened late.

“We are waiting for the IIEC to take action. They should extend the time so that voting can take place,” said a Garsen resident Ali Wario.

Mr Wario however said that despite the delay, voters at Kau and Ozi in Kitni division had remained calm and peaceful.

In Marakwet West, the presiding officer is said to have died after a short illness on Tuesday night before voting started and his deputy has taken over the role.


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