, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – Voting for new Law Society of Kenya (LSK) officials kicked off Thursday morning countrywide.
The voting which is being overseen by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials kicked off at 9am and was expected to be completed by 5pm.
The seat of LSK President has attracted two candidates, Kisumu-based lawyer and former East Africa Law Society chairman James Mwamu and Allen Gichuhi.
The vice-president’s contest has also attracted two main candidates, Chiggai Harriet and Joy Masinde.
The exercise comes even as young advocates had planned to boycott the polls over the decision to restrict people seeking the position of president to 15 years of practice terming it as discriminatory.
The same restriction extends to the positions of vice-president and council members.
They also argue that a clause in LSK Act, which allows a young advocate who served as a council member to vie for the presidency while subjecting the rest to the 15-years rule is discriminative.
Nelson Havi unsuccessfully challenged the decision to bar him from contesting the LSK Presidency.
He has since appealed the High Court ruling and the matter is still pending for determination.
Former nominated MP Judith Sijeny, who was also eyeing the president’s position, also withdrew.
This will be his third attempt for Mwamu at the presidency, having run and lost to former LSK President Kenneth Akide in 2010 and again lost to Isaac Okero in 2016.
Gichuhi, meanwhile, will be making a second attempt.
The elections, which were to be held last year, were postponed twice.
In Kisumu, there was a poor turnout of lawyers despite the polling station, located at the High Court opening its doors for voting at 8.30am.
The Presiding Officer Yvonne Okeyo stated that they were yet to receive the first voter almost 45 minutes later.
Okeyo said that the registered voters in the station stands at 182 but are allowed to vote in any station across the country.
He announced that provisional results will be relayed to the Returning Officer in Nairobi.
The LSK has designated 28 court buildings across the country as polling centres and lawyers can vote from any of the centres regardless of where they are based.