, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has postponed elections in four county assembly wards to next Monday.
IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan told journalists on Monday that the elections in Gwassi North, Bunyala South, Samburu North and two wards in Kuria East Constituency would be carried out on March 11.
He explained that the ballot papers for these regions had errors where political parties and even candidates’ pictures had been swapped.
“An initial audit of the ballot papers has revealed a very tiny number, no more than half a dozen of positions with missing political party symbols, mix up of candidates pictures and one or two candidates’ names entirely missing from the register,” he said.
Hassan added that voters in these wards would get five ballot papers to elect their presidential, gubernatorial, senatorial, member of national assembly and woman representative candidates.
“Elections for all other positions, that is president, governor, senator, national assembly representative and women representative are going on as scheduled. so voters will get five ballot papers instead of six,” he added.
Hassan further expressed concern at the insecurity situation witnessed in Garissa, Mandera and Mombasa counties urging Kenyans not to be cowed.
He explained that the security situation had been beefed adding that the response of the country’s security agents was commendable.
“The commission wishes to appeal to the people of this country not to be cowed or intimidated by acts of lawlessness and wayward behaviours intended to cause despondency and to disenfranchise the electorate,” he said.
He at the same time asked polling clerks to use the printed version of the voters’ register in areas where some electronic poll books malfunctioned.
Hassan assured Kenyans that the printed version was foolproof further asking political parties and their agents to be vigilant at the polling and vote counting stages.
“This device truly enhances the integrity of the electoral process and is not in any case an inferior alternative to the poll book,” he assured.
He also said that Kenyans who registered as voters using passports that later expired would still be allowed to vote as long as they presented their old and new passports.
Hassan also urged Kenyans not to be deterred by some of the logistical challenges that the Commission was facing.
“Failure of technology will not hinder or inhibit the conduct of this election. We urge voters to maintain calm at the polling stations as this matter is addressed,” he said.
He also asked polling clerks to ensure that Kenyans lined up in the right queues to save time and ensure that voters did not lose hope.