NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 9 – Political parties and candidates will be required remove all their campaign posters after the March 4 elections.
According to regulations published by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), parties and candidates have seven days within which to remove the posters unless there is an election re-run.
“Except for cases where there is a re-run in respect of any election candidates, every political party, candidate or referendum committee shall be responsible for the removal of all of their banners, placards and posters erected during the campaign period within seven days after the close of polls,” the regulations state.
The rules also make it an offence for a voter to feign disability and for electoral officers who help such voters feigning disability. Commission staff charged with the offence are liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding Sh1million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.
Senior police officers have already been trained and briefed on the enforcement of the regulations and what will be required of the police service during the election period.
Charges for the various electoral offences have already been drafted and officers will only need to fill up particulars of the offender, area in which the offence was committed to produce him/her in court.
Employers will also be on the commission’s radar as they are required to give their employees reasonable time for voting, failure to which they attract fines or jail terms.
Section 70 of the Election Act provides that: “An employer who directly or indirectly refuses, or by intimidation, undue influence, or in any other manner interferes with the granting to any voter in his employ of a reasonable period for voting commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six years or to both.”
All candidates for the various elective positions were required to sign the electoral code of conduct that binds them individually.
The code among other things bars candidates and parties from distribute offensive electoral literature and campaign materials; publishing and distributing offensive notices, advertisements, erecting offensive banners, placards and posters.
It also compels parties and candidates to ensure that no arms or weapons are carried or displayed at political meetings at any marches or at events of a political nature.
Politicians are also required to refrain from campaigning in places of worship or during burial ceremonies.