All set for Wajir mini poll

October 12, 2010 12:00 am

, WAJIR, Kenya, Oct 12 – Preparations for Wednesday’s Wajir South by-election are complete with the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) releasing all election material to the 73 polling stations.

The IIEC was busy on Tuesday ensuring that all 73 presiding officers who will be overseeing the process are fully briefed and checking that all electoral materials are accurate ahead of the exercise.

307 polling clerks are expected to take part in the process during which voters are expected to either elect immediate former MP Abdirahman Hassan Ali of KANU or to replace him with ODM-Kenya`s Muhhamed Sirat.

Mr Hassan lost the seat after an election petition filed by Mr Sirat.

Adequate security has also been put in place in the vast constituency. Police are said to have deployed extra officers for the exercise while the military has also heightened its monitoring systems along the Kenya- Somalia border.

IIEC official Immaculate Kussait said presiding officers have been provided with satellite phones in areas where there is no mobile phone network coverage.

She said it will however not be possible to relay results electronically from 18 centres which are not covered by the mobile phone network.

"Going by the experience we had during the referendum, we expect that the results will be in by midnight but we are equal to the task," she said.

Four-wheel drive vehicles will be used in the area which has no tarmac roads. The furthest centre from the main tallying centre in Habaswein is Salalama Dam polling station which is 350 kilometres away.

The constituency has 21,703 registered voters and it recorded a 60 percent turnout in the August 4 referendum

Others in the race are Abdullahi Bulale (Narc), Ahmed Ali Mukhtar (National Agenda Party of Kenya) and Abdirizak Mohammed Ibrahim (Liberal Party of Kenya).

ODM did not field a candidate. The party was said to be supporting the Narc candidate.



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