Kenyans back Oct 17 poll date, survey says

A majority of Kenyans want the fresh presidential election ordered for by the Supreme Court held on October 17 as proposed by the electoral commission, according to a survey by research firm Infotrak.

The findings, released on Friday, show that 84 percent of those interviewed were in support of the October date as opposed to 14 who were of the view that the dates should be pushed further.

At the same time, the survey reveals that 52 percent of those interviewed expressed their lack of trust in the integrity of the Independent electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct the election, against 40 percent who said they had faith in the agency.

When asked the reason for the lack of trust, a considerable majority, 44 percent, said they want the top management including the chief executive officer Ezra Chiloba fired, with another 41 percent calling for the replacement of the commissioners.

On the poll date that has remained a thorny issue, most of those surveyed said they want the election held as soon as possible to minimise interference with businesses, the school calendar and work.
“The opinion of Kenyans is that they want the electioneering period done away with faster. Some are also of the opinion that we should adhere to the dates already set by the IEBC,” Infotrak lead researcher Angela Ambitho said at the firm’s offices in Nairobi.

The survey conducted from September 8 to 9 sampled 1500 respondents, representing the 19.6 million registered voters with a margin of error of 2.19 per cent and a 95 percent degree of confidence.

Of those opposed to the October date, 77 percent proposed November 1 as the date for the poll with 15 percent opting for October 24.

The trend comes hot on the heels of calls by the National Super Alliance for an overhaul of the commission’s secretariat, failure to which, they say, they would boycott the repeat election, while not allowing their Jubilee rivals to participate in the same.


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