, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has commended Kajiado residents for turning out in large numbers to vote during the by- election pitting the Jubilee Alliance Party against Coalition for Reforms and Democracy.
While touring various polling stations, IEBC Vice Chairperson Lilian Mahiri-Zaja noted that the Constituency had surpassed the expectations of mini polls where the turnout was usually low.
“We can say the voting has been smooth, people have come out in large numbers unlike in other by-elections, so far we are seeing many places registering over 50 percent turnout, we are impressed,” said Mahiri – Zaja
Thomas Letangule a commissioner with the electoral body pointed out that already 50percent of the registered voters have cast their votes with projections of the total number of those who will have voted by close of business set at 70 percent.
“We have had no major incidents, and with the look of things, we will hit the 70 percent mark. We expect more people in the evening because we know the residents are pastoralists, some went to look for pasture in the morning, generally the whole process has been successful,” said Letangule
They noted the fact that there have been no major incidences adding that the few cases of names missing from the list have been resolved.
There were also complainants by members of the CORD coalition of alleged bribing of voters, which were vehemently denied by their counterparts from the Jubilee Coalition who urged CORD to substantiate their claims.
The hotly contested race is vital for both Coalitions – as for Jubilee – it will be a platform for them to launch their new political outfit, JAP, while for CORD it seeks a win to retain the seat previously held by now Interior and National Coordination Cabinet Secretary rtd General Joseph Nkaissery.
Nkaissery resigned following his appointment to the all important docket.
Legislators from the Maasai region had promised to reward President Uhuru Kenyatta with the seat and are keen to fulfil the promise.
According to IEBC guidelines, polling stations should be closed at 5:00 pm and with minutes to the close of the voting process, residents who have not cast their vote are making frantic efforts to ensure they arrive at the polling stations before they are shut.
The main tallying center will be Maasai Technical Institute.