, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 12 – The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) has announced that the by-election for Matuga constituency would be held on July 12, along with polls in 25 civic wards in various parts of the country.
IIEC Chairman Isaack Hassan said on Wednesday that they intend to clear the polls ahead of the referendum in August.
“The writs for Matuga were issued by the Speaker on May 6 and according to the law we were required to hold the by-election within 90 days. You also know that the Attorney General published the Proposed Constitution on May 6 so again we are required to hold a referendum within 90 days. If you look at the last day they were actually going to coincide,” he said.
“We want to be through with the by-elections for Matuga and the civic seats so that we just remain with the referendum to conduct.”
The South Mugirango by-election is to be held on June 10.
Meanwhile, the IIEC said the manual voter registration exercise had enrolled 12.3 million voters countrywide.
Mr Hassan explained that the results were provisional since data from some areas had not been received due logistical hitches created by the rains. The commission also added that it was still conducting Electronic Voter Registration (EVR) in 18 constituencies and it expected to surpass the 1.5 million target.
“We know that EVR is very popular among Kenyans and it has attracted a bigger number. People have been going to that side more which is why we expect to harvest more. But again being a new technology we are still studying the viability. We have been having problems with the printers (photographs coming out badly) but these are issues we shall correct,” said Mr Hassan.
The Commission was also quick to point out that there could be a slight variation of the total figures issued once it completed cleaning up its records. Mr Hassan explained that the establishment of the EVR had also created room for double registration which needed to corrected.
“Despite voter education being done to discourage people from registering more than once we have had instances where people register manually and also electronically,” he said and reminded Kenyans that the EVR would come to a close next Friday.
Further the commission said that it had sought help from the Kenya Police to help airlift some of the voter records from constituencies that had been marooned by floods.
“For instance North Rift region has not been able to retrieve materials from Turkana North and South constituencies (Parath, Lokipoto, Kalelemo and Narogole), Upper Eastern region (North Horr and Illiret) and Coast province (Bura). We asked for help from the Kenya Police helicopters to retrieve these materials,” he said.
The IIEC Chair also announced that it would produce the Provisional Voter Register for viewing by the public on June 1st, “It is called the Voter Register Inspection process and I would like to call upon all Kenyans to participate in this. This will help us clean up our records and develop the final Principal register.”
The IIEC has 16 scanning centers in various regional headquarters to correct its records against any errors. According to IIEC’s Commissioner Davis Chirchir the Commission verifies 400,000 records per day.