KENYA POLLS: IEBC orders repeat polls in five wards
Posted Monday, March 4 2013 at 13:25
The electoral commission has ordered repeat polls in five of the 1,450 wards around the country due to irreparable errors on the ballot papers.
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan said the commission had called off County Assembly ward elections in Nyabasi West and Goke Haraka Wards in Kuria East and Bunyala South, Gwasi North and Samburu North Wards.
“We have been forced to call off elections in these areas because of mix up in the ballot papers. In some cases we have missing names of candidates while in other cases names have been interchanged,” Mr Hassan revealed.
Speaking at a media briefing at the Bomas of Kenya Monday, Mr Hassan said the repeat polls would be conducted on March 11.
“In the interest of fairness and observant of its constitution mandate the commission has rescheduled elections in such county assembly wards to March 11, 2013. Our returning officers and presiding officers have been notified of this fact and candidate’s agents in respective wards notified,” Mr Hassan declared.
Mr Hassan also said that in some of the areas where the polls have been called off the erroneous ballot papers had missing political party symbols and candidates' pictures.
The commission also expressed concerns over reports of failed poll books in several polling centres around the country.
Mr Hassan announced that where the machines had failed IEBC officials had been instructed to use printed versions of the poll books.
The IEBC boss called on Kenyans to keep vigil over the process to ensure fairness and integrity prevailed.
The printed versions of the poll books also had captured photographs of the voters in all the polling centres around the country.
"As of now the challenges posed by the poll book although predictable and largely addressed remain a matter of concern to the commission and necessary remedial measures have been taken and results so far indicate marked improvement in the performance of the devices."
Mr Hassan said that despite the technological problems the commission was still determined to deliver a free and fair elections and appealed to Kenyans not to worry about the few hitches reported.
The commission also announced the elections had experienced insecurity in some parts of Kenya citing incidences in Mandera where an explosion erupted.
In Garissa, he said fighting erupted in some parts while in Mombasa violence was reported in Changamwe constituency where armed thugs raided and violently killed five policemen.
“The response of security agencies has been commendable so far. The commission wishes to reiterate its appeal to the people of the country not to be cowed or intimidated by acts of lawlessness and wayward behaviour intended to cause despondency and disenfranchise the electorate,” said Mr Hassan.