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84 pc of Kenyans want polls on October 17 – Infotrak

The firm’s Chief Executive Officer Angela Ambitho told a press conference Friday morning that voters appear to be satisfied with the justification for the date to pave way for national examinations/MOSES MUOKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 15 – A majority of Kenyans are satisfied with the October 17 date for the fresh presidential election, according to a new survey by Infotrak Research and Consulting.

The survey released Friday morning by Infotrak chief executive Angela Ambitho shows that 84 per cent of the respondents want elections held as planned, while 14.3 per cent disagree.

Another 1.5 per cent of respondents who took part in the survey neither agree or disagree with the October 17 date set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for a rematch between President Uhuru Kenyatta (Jubilee Party) and Raila Odinga (National Super Alliance).

“People probably want to get want to get over with the electioneering period because we find ourselves in unchartered waters and the longer you stretch it the more politicking there will be,” Ambitho explained.

“There’s also the justification given of the school calendar and not interfering with national examinations but it may also be that people just want to adhere to the directives of IEBC,” she added.

The study commissioned by Infotrak and conducted between Friday and Saturday last week through telephone interviews also revealed that 77 per cent of likely voters were satisfied by the September 1 decision by the Supreme Court annulling the presidential election held on August 8.

Some 22 per cent of 1,500 respondents however registered their dissatisfaction with the apex court ruling, 1.7 per cent saying they just did not know whether the ruling was satisfactory to them or not.

A majority of those who said they were satisfied with the annulment of the August 8 presidential election were voters in the Western region (93.1 per cent), Nyanza (89.7 per cent), Coast (82.5 per cent), Eastern (77.6 per cent), Nairobi (74.7 per cent) , North Eastern (74.3 per cent) and Rift Valley (73 per cent).

Only 57.4 per cent of voters in Central Kenya said they were satisfied with the decision of the Supreme Court.

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Support for the October 17 fresh presidential election date was highest in Central (95.3 per cent), Rift Valley (91.6 per cent), Eastern (85.3c per cent), and Nairobi (83.3 per cent).

In North Eastern, Coast, Western and Nyanza region, the support stood at 78.7, 77.3, 77.1 and 69 per cent respectively.

Support for November 1 as the alternative for the election was highest at the Coast (82 per cent), Nyanza (81 per cent), Eastern (77.8 per cent), Rift Valley (77.2 per cent and Central region (77.2 per cent).

In Nairobi and Western regions, the support for November 1 stood at 74.1 and 69.6 per cent.

October 24 is the least preferred date for the fresh presidential election with a less than 30 per cent rating in all the eight regions.

A majority of voters, however, do not have confidence in the ability of the electoral commission to conduct free and fair presidential elections on October 17, if findings by the pollster with a 2.53 margin of error and 95 per cent degree of confidence are anything to go by.

43.8 per cent of those sampled said they would like IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba and other top election managers to resign, 41.1 per cent recommending that all the eight commissioners do the same.

“Indeed 54 per cent of Kenyans are not confident that IEBC would conduct a free and fair election and another six per cent are not even sure,” Ambitho noted.

Some 17.2 per cent of those surveyed however indicated that an overhaul of the results transmission system would be just fine, 134.3 per cent recommending that a reputable international organization such as the United Nations conducts the fresh presidential poll.

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8.9 per cent of those sampled would rather have other capable IEBC staff take charge of the poll, 8.1 suggesting that the eight commissioners should take various management roles during the election.

According to the study, the Judiciary, civil society, media and religious leaders enjoy a substantial amount of confidence among the electorate, with the Judiciary enjoying 75.8 per cent in trust levels.

“The trust and confidence in the judiciary is quiet high and I would possibly postulate perhaps the September 1 ruling contributed to these levels of confidence,” the pollster said.

Respondents put the levels of confidence in the civil society at 84.5 per cent, religious leaders and institutions at 84.3 per cent, the media at 72.2 per cent and the National Police Service at 64.7 per cent.

The 1,500 respondents were drawn from all the eight regions and 47 counties nationwide, the researcher adopting a Population Proportionate Size (PPS) sampling design based on the IEBC register of voters.

The sample was made up of 51 per cent of male, 49 per cent of female respondents who comprised of 49.6 per cent self-employed persons, 19.9 employed and 29.5 per cent unemployed.

The highest level of education for most of the respondents (40.1 per cent) was secondary, followed by primary at 27.1 per cent, tertiary at 19.4 per cent and university/post-graduate (8.2 per cent).

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