All set for Ikolomani mini poll

May 22, 2011 12:00 am

, KAKAMEGA, Kenya, May 22 – Preparations for Monday’s Ikolomani by-election are complete with the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) releasing all election material to the 65 polling stations.

The IIEC was busy on Sunday ensuring that all 65 presiding officers who will be overseeing the process are fully briefed and checking that all electoral materials are accurate ahead of the exercise.

More than 300 polling clerks are expected to take part in the process during which the 35,883 registered voters are expected to either re-elect immediate former MP Bonny Khalwale of New Ford-K or to elect ODM`s Bernard Shinali or Collins Matemba of Ford People.

The Returning Officer Benjamin Tarus said they have made arrangements to ensure elections kick off at 6am without delay in all parts of the constituency.

"All the polling centers are set and ready and this will enable our officers to be able to open the centers for voting on time tomorrow," he said.

Mr Tarus said they have employed competent election officials who will be stationed across the constituency to ensure a free and fair election.

"They were trained in all aspects relating to an election and am optimistic that the exercise will run smoothly without any hiccup," he said.

Dr Khalwale has announced that he will be voting at Malinya polling station at 7.30am while Mr Shinali will be voting at Lirhembe primary school polling station at 7am.

The vast constituency has 65 polling centers and the tallying center will be at Makhoho secondary school,

Dr Khalwale lost the seat on February 18 after an election petition filed by Mr Shinali.

Justice Isaac Lenaola sitting in Kakamega nullified the election over massive irregularities during the 2007 General Election.

Dr Khalwale was the 10th MP in the current Parliament to lose his seat in an election petition.

Adequate security has also been put in place in the vast constituency with deploying extra officers for the exercise.

Kakamega South district police boss Abdi Galgalo has announced that his officers are up to the task to ensure a smooth process devoid of violence and other election malpractices.

"We are set for the exercise and our officers will be felt in every polling center within the constituency,\’ he told Capital News.
"Fifty officers will be at the tallying centre and only IIEC accredited persons will be allowed into the tallying hall. This is to ensure security is not breached by anybody."

IIEC Chairman Issack Hassan said on Friday that any voter who is either registered twice or attempts to vote more than once in the by-elections will be arrested and prosecuted.

He said that 399 registered voters in Ikolomani have registered more than once and will not be eligible to vote.

"The Commission discovered that some Kenyans registered more than once resulting to double registration which is an offence under the electoral code and goes against the maxim of one man, one vote," Mr Hassan said.


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