NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 19 – The chairman of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission IIEC Issack Hassan has decried the low voter turnout in the Kamukujni by-election held on Thursday.
Mr Hassan said that the commission would look into the causes of the low numbers with the aim of making many voters turn out in large numbers in future by-elections.
“It is sad to witness an election with probably the lowest turnout, where 30 percent of the voters turned up to vote. It is a big disappointment for the commission. We do not know the reason behind the low turnout be it intimidation or strategy to discourage people to vote,” he said.
About 88,000 voters did not participate in Thursday’s by-election that was held following the nullification by the High Court of Simon Mbugua’s 2007 election in a petition filed by Ibrahim Ahmed of ODM.
There were 40,454 ballots cast in the by-election out of which 39,743 were valid. Seven hundred and eight votes were rejected and three votes disputed.
Mr Hassan also advised voters not to register twice as they risked being arrested when they try to vote in any election.
Mr Hassan also congratulated the candidates in the by-election for the way in which they conducted the elections without incidences of violence.
“We want to congratulate the candidates for conducting a campaign in a mature way that was free of violence,” he said.
The IIEC broke its own record in transmitting results, six minutes quicker than the time it took to submit the last result in the Ikolomani by-election.
“It only shows the efficiency achieved by this commission through its staff. Without fear I can say that they are ready to conduct a general election despite the number of ballot papers we will have,” exuded the IIEC Chairman.
The Kamukunji by-election is probably the last to be conducted by the IIEC since modalities are in place to set up the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Yusuf Hassan of PNU garnered 19,030 votes against 15,476 polled by Ahmed Ibrahim of the Orange Democratic Movement in Thursday’s by-election.
Narc Kenya’s Brian Weke came third with 4,064 votes, while Agano Party candidate David Waihiga managed 367 votes.