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Jubilee reverses plan to merge polling stations

Jubilee Party has rescinded a decision to merge polling stations in its strongholds during the Friday primaries after aspirants failed to agree on procedure.

That means the nominations will be conducted in 23,000 out of the 44,000 gazetted polling stations in 33 counties.

The Nation has established that polling stations will not be merged in 17 counties Jubilee considers its core zones. That will also be the case in Nairobi.

“We will use Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission gazetted polling stations in our strongholds. We consulted aspirants and county election boards before taking the decision to merge some,” Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju said.

MEET WITH HOPEFULS
Earlier, the party said that it would merge polling stations in the 33 counties, arguing it would be a logistical nightmare to manage all the IEBC sites.

Counties where polling stations will not be merged include Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kiambu, Meru, Tharaka-Nithi and Embu.

The party also listed Laikipia, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Nandi, Baringo, Kericho, Bomet and West Pokot as regions where gazetted polling stations would be used for primaries.

Jubilee will hold meetings with aspirants in the counties this coming Wednesday.

PREPARATIONS ONGOING
Meanwhile, Jubilee today started dispatching stationery and party lists to the 33 counties.

“One of the most difficult problems we have is that of moving ballot papers and nomination materials,” Mr Tuju told the press on Sunday.

“We have hired more than 200 lorries. We also want to assure aspirants that the materials will be at the stations on polling day. They are allowed to check them as they are being unloaded.”

At the Jubilee headquarters, workers were busy packing materials to be loaded on the trucks.

During the press conference on Sunday, Mr Tuju said Jubilee campaigns would end on Wednesday at 7pm.

NO RIGGING
Aspirants would be called on Thursday to witness the sealing and distribution of the ballot boxes.

“Our ballot papers have five security features that will only be known during the nomination day,” the former Rarieda MP said, adding that the party had hired and trained more than 60,000 people to help in the exercise.

Mr Tuju said any mischief during the primaries would be “dealt with ruthlessly”.

“Our process is very regimented. I would say it is impossible for anyone to rig. Some people might try, but they will be very disappointed,” Mr Tuju said.

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