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Bonchari by election kicks off smoothly

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Seven candidates are battling it out for the seat, including three who have previously served as Members of Parliament in the constituency situated within Kisii County/FILE

Seven candidates are battling it out for the seat, including three who have previously served as Members of Parliament in the constituency situated within Kisii County/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 23 – Voters in Bonchari are currently casting their votes for the Member of Parliament in a by-election occasioned by the nullification of the area MP John Oroo Oyioka’s election.

Most polling stations opened for the voting exercise by 6 am, apart from Suneka airstrip polling station where there was a delay.

Seven candidates are battling it out for the seat, including three who have previously served as Members of Parliament in the constituency situated within Kisii County.

“We have deployed more than 350 officers. All the streams in the polling station will at least each be covered by at least two armed police officers. The tallying centre will have around thirty police officers and we are deploying additional patrols, 10 marked police vehicles each with eight police officers on board,” the Kisii County Police boss Simon Kiragu said.

Kiragu stated that the police officers have been spread across the whole county.

He said that there will also be police patrol vehicles in the constituency to ensure that voters are not accosted during the exercise.

READ Petitioner sworn in as MP without by-election

Returning officer Peter Resa told Capital FM News that everything is expected to go smoothly and that election officials have been briefed on their work.

“So far we have not had serious incidences of either fighting or something like that and I would like to appreciate Bonchari people for carrying themselves maturely throughout the campaign period. It is my appeal to the people of Bonchari to come out and vote peacefully so that we can choose our leader from among us. As IEBC, we have undertaken to conduct free and fair elections, let our people come and vote,” he said.

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The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is strictly implementing the use of the Electronic Voter Identification (EVID) in the ongoing exercise.

Resa stated that the device is used to ensure only voters registered in the constituency are ones who participate in the mini poll.

“We are going to use the EVID which is a hand held kind of a gadget where using your biometrics, you touch it with one of your fingers and it shows your face, details, date of birth, ID number then you move on,” he said.

He pointed out that action will be taken against anyone found trying to vote if he or she is not registered in the constituency or those out to vote twice.

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