New survey backs 2012 poll in August

October 31, 2011 3:14 pm


A ballot box during past elections/ File
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – A new opinion poll released on Monday indicates that more than half of Kenyans want the date of the next general election retained on the second Tuesday of August, as stipulated in the Constitution.

The poll conducted by research company Ipsos Synovate shows that 53 percent of Kenyans want polls in August, while 38 percent support of a proposal by the Cabinet to have the poll date pushed to the third Monday of December.

Two percent of the respondents want the country to await the interpretation of the Supreme Court, while another two percent were comfortable with either date – August or December.

The survey was conducted between October 15 and 23 in 56 administrative and geographical districts.

The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) and the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) have already filed a case requesting the Supreme Court to give an opinion on the date of the next General Election.

The pollster said face-to-face home interviews were the preferred way because they allowed for further probing as respondents have more time to respond to questions as compared to street interviews.

The poll shows that Nairobi, Coast, Central and Eastern provinces polled highly in support of the August date, while those sampled in Western Province tied 44 percent for both sides.

Nyanza and North Eastern recorded 47 and 44 percent in support of the August poll, while 45 percent and 29 percent respectively supported a December poll.

The poll comes after another poll firm, Infotrack Harris, indicated more than 50 percent of Kenyans preferred to vote on August 14 so that the December holidays are not interfered with.

A majority of Kenyans argue that if a controversy arises, a candidate can have enough time to petition the elections because courts will be in session.

The Infotrack poll which was released earlier this month also suggested that the proponents for the August 2012 elections consist predominantly of youths.

The older generation argue that August will see a poor turnout as opposed to December while giving the electoral body time to prepare because it has not been constituted.

Those who support the December date also say that the Constitution is in the implementation stages and the government needs to be given time to put its house in order.


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