Four counties to vote on Saturday

The electoral commission has pushed to Saturday the presidential poll in four Nyanza counties.

Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay and Migori counties are strongholds of National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga who withdrew from the race and asked his supporters to stay away from polling stations.


Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati on Thursday said the agency had asked the National Police Service to provide security on the new voting day.

“We were promised security by the Inspector-General of Police (Joseph Boinnet) and once we get feedback, we shall see how to manage the safety of our officers and movement of materials in the affected counties,” Mr Chebukati said.

The four counties have a total of 1,863,182 registered voters.

Siaya has 457,957, Kisumu (539,593), Homa Bay (476,932) while Migori County has 388,700 voters.

Mr Odinga had an overwhelming majority of the support in the counties in the August 8 poll, with 99 per cent in Siaya, 97 per cent in Kisumu, 99 per cent in Homa Bay and 85 per cent in Migori.

Some of the more creative means of preventing the voting on Thursday were seen in Kisumu, where gates to the schools where voting was to take place were welded or riveted shut.

Residents also clashed with police officers.

In some places, presiding officers and clerks failed to show up.

The law allows the commission to postpone an election if it believes a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur.

The other reasons could be a natural disaster, an emergency and if there has been an electoral malpractice.

The law also provides for IEBC to declare the winner of an election if it is of the opinion that the missing results would not make much of a difference.

At the first briefing of the day, about 4.20pm, Mr Chebukati said the commission calculating the turn out and would provide it at the next briefing an hour and a half later.

Postponement of polls is allowed under the Election Regulations.

Mr Chebukati said in Kitui County, where the election was affected after a bus carrying materials was swept away by floods, the situation had been sorted and voting later continued.

Apart from the disruptions, the chairman said voting proceeded smoothly.

He added polling stations that opened late would be allowed to compensate for the time lost by closing after 5pm.

Wafula Chebukati says Kisumu, Migori, Homa Bay and Siaya to vote on October 28.

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