“Do not point an accusing finger on us!” IEBC maintains in Kenya

With just five days remaining before the expiry of the time set for voter registration, IEBC Chairman Isaack Hassan has maintained that once the deadline elapses, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will make use of the already registered voters list in the forthcoming March 4th General elections.

IEBC - Isaack Hassan

IEBC – Isaack Hassan

“We have so far managed to register 10 million voters countrywide and should we fail to meet our earlier expectation of 18 million voters, the election exercise would still go on since there is no stated threshold required by law for the nation to go on polls,” said Hassan while addressing the members of the press on Thursday afternoon.

Having made a nationwide campaign to sensitize all qualified citizens on the need to register as voters, people have already started pointing an accusing finger towards the Isaack Hassan led team sighting its inability to undertake proper planning for the exercise. Despite the Commission’s efforts of urging citizens through use of short message services (SMSs) on all local phone networks and making available the registration centres on Google maps, Kenyans still seem not to be responding to the efforts so far.

On the other hand, in an annual report released on Thursday by Google dubbed ‘The Zeitgeist 2012’, it emerged that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) topped the list as the most viewed and trending searches among Kenyans online. The finding comes just weeks after the IEBC launched all its voter registration centres online on Google maps for all Kenyans to get to register conveniently- A good indication that the message was indeed delivered to all.

Already many do have anticipations of making the last minute rush as the phenomenon is with majority. Though partly to blame on the voters who’ve not registered, some insist that the timing of the exercise was untimely and more time should be set aside by having the deadline extended into the December holiday.

Dr. Ekuru Aukot, a member of the panel which gave the IEBC the green light to undertake the March 4th General elections said, “I am disappointed with the manner in which the IEBC is carrying out its operations. It should take the blame of poorly planning the voter registration exercise as it may lock out many of the qualified voters across the nation.” He further ruled out the delay in the procurement of the BVR kits as the root cause of the shortcoming of the low voter registration turn-up.

However, the IEBC stays put in conducting its exercise on the remaining days maintaining that a lot has been done to urge all voters to take part in the registration exercise. “In 2002, there were 12 million registered voters and out of these, only 72 percent took part in the elections. So we would be making use of the list of voters that we would have obtained after the expiry of the voter registration deadline,” said Hassan while in a press conference.

For all those qualified voters who haven’t registered, you are all urged to make sure you have done so before the expiry of the deadline to avoid being locked out of the March 4th General Elections.

REMEMBER; it is your civil duty to register for the forthcoming general elections and failure to do so means that you would be denying yourself the opportunity to exercise your democratic right.

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