Monday, March 4, 2013

Kenya Election Update: Voting Progresses despite Biometric Hitches

Voting commenced smoothly this morning in Kenya until it was marred with hitches in BVR kits across some polling centers especially in Kibera and Mathare compelling IEBC to shift to the manual system.

Meanwhile, the electoral commission chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan,has ordered repeat polls in five of the 1,450 wards in Nyabasi West and Goke Haraka Wards in Kuria East and Bunyala South, Gwasi North and Samburu North Wards due to irreparable errors on the ballot papers.

"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 adding that the repeat polls would be conducted on March 11 2013 notifying returning officers, presiding officersand candidate's agents in respective wards.

Mr. Hassan announced that where the machines had failed IEBC officials had been instructed to use printed versions of the poll books which had captured photographs of the voters in all the polling centers around the country.

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.

According to Mr.Hassan, the response of security agencies has been commendable so far, and called on Kenyans to keep vigil over the process to ensure fairness and integrity prevailed.

Mr. Hassan said 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.


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