ODM party opposes diaspora voting in next year’s polls

ODM on Wednesday said it would object to diaspora voting in next year’s elections due to uncertainties surrounding the registration of Kenyans living abroad.

The party’s director of elections, Mr Junet Mohammed, accused the government of aiding fraudulent issuance of identity cards and passports to illegal immigrants in the United States and other parts of the world to enable them update their national registration status before voter listing starts in the diaspora.

Mr Mohammed spoke, even as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide a clear data of how many Kenyans are living in the diaspora to ensure credible registration ahead of next year’s polls.

“We are not going to allow voting in the diaspora. We know the government is planning to use it to rig elections. No one knows the numbers involved yet fraudulent registration of potential voters by government mercenaries is ongoing in various parts of the world,” said Mr Mohammed, who is also the Suna East MP.

ELECTION FRAUD

IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba said there have been fears of election fraud after the commission announced it would allow Kenyans abroad to vote. He said IEBC does not have clear data on how many Kenyans are in the diaspora.

Mr Chiloba was speaking on Wednesday in Nairobi during the launch of the Elections Observation Group survey finding on diaspora registration and advanced voting.

NGOs and politicians have objected to the idea of IEBC involving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in diaspora registration and voting.

Elections Observation Group committee chairman Brian Weke said the role of IEBC and that of the ministry are distinct, thus the ministry should not be involved.

Mr Chiloba said: “As far as the civil society and many other may not want IEBC to allow the ministry of foreign affairs, it is difficult to work without them when dealing with other countries,”

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