CORD meets IEBC over Okoa Kenya referendum, voter registration


CORD meets IEBC over Okoa Kenya referendum, voter registration

CORD principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula now say the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will be through with verification of Okoa Kenya referendum signatures by the end of this month.

The three opposition luminaries were speaking after meeting IEBC’s commissioners, just a week after verification of the more one million signatures began.

The three say IEBC chair Ahmed Isaack Hassan has also undertaken to submit the Okoa Kenya Referendum Bill to the 47 County Assemblies for debate and approval by March 1st, 2016.

The CORD principals have in the recent past been accusing IEBC of deliberately delaying the process after receiving the signatures on November 9th last year.

The leaders further add that the electoral boss and his team have agreed to look into their claims that distribution of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits has been skewed to favor Jubilee strongholds in the ongoing mass voter registration exercise.

This comes just a day after the campaign to register at least four million new voters in 30 days kicked off with the IEBC asking Kenyans to turn out in large numbers for the exercise.

CORD Governors and their deputies had earlier on raised issues with the voter registration exercise being conducted by IEBC.

In a statement after a two-day meeting in Kisumu, the Governors said the current voter registration exercise is skewed and compromised in favour of Jubilee through unequal and unfair distribution of BVR kits.

“The skewed distribution of registration kits by the IEBC poses a threat to the dream by Kenyans to elect a truly representative government that shares and furthers the dreams and aspirations of the people and must be resisted and rectified,” read the statement in part.

“That the IEBC, in sanctioning the skewed distribution of BVR kits, is deepening divisions along party and ethnic lines in the country instead of helping seal the rifts and heal the nation.”

The governors further stated that they will join hands in ensuring protection of Kenyans’ right to vote in a free and fair election.

For the next 30 days, Kenyans aged 18 years and who have national identity cards or Kenyan passports are eligible to register as voters.

Those registered in 2013 do not need to register again, unless one wishes to change their polling station.

The exercise will be conducted in all 1,450 county assembly wards by a total of 5,576 registration clerks.

The number of the registration clerks was doubled after the European Union through UNDP granted the electoral body an additional 560 million shillings last week.

A spot check in several stations in Nandi County Siaya, Nyeri and Kajiado Counties showed only a few people showed up for the exercise.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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