The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) yesterday announced by-elections in eight electoral areas, including Kakamega and Mombasa gubernatorial races to be held on August 23, following their suspension due to ballot papers mix-up.
Through a statement released by the Electoral Commission, the by-elections have been scheduled soon after the General Elections to allow Kenyans to vote for their leaders while they are still in the ‘polls mood’.
“We wish to inform the country that despite the high level of preparedness, some ballot papers for four elective positions were noted to have errors.
As a result, elections for the respective positions have been suspended to a letter date,” said Wafula Chebukati, IEBC Chairman.
Other areas that will go to the polls on August 23 are MP races in Rongai, Kitui Rural Kacheliba, and Pokot South constituencies and MCA contests in Nyaki West (Meru County) and Kwa Njenga in Embakasi South, Nairobi county.
Speaking during a media briefing at the Bomas of Kenya, Juliana Cherera Vice-Chairperson, IEBC said that new voting dates in Kitua Rural and Rongai constituencies will be announced through a gazette notice.
“Regarding security, last night the Commission was alerted of incidents of gunfire in Eldas Constituency election office in Wajir county where ballot papers were stored.
The election has been adjourned and voting shall begin once the issue is resolved,” said Cherera.
Additionally, Cherera said that the voting has been disrupted in Eldas Constituency following a gunfight on Monday night.
In Rongai, the area MP Raymond Moi expressed his frustrations over the mix-up of the parliamentary ballot papers.
He stormed one of the polling station at Mercy Njeri Primary School in the Kiamunyi area and demanded answers from the IEBC officials.
“Elections are very sensitive and any mistake made by IEBC could rock the country,” added Moi. In Kitui Rural Constituency, the voters were angry that they could not participate in the parliamentary elections after the ballot papers mix-ups.
The issues was first noticed at Kwa Vonza Primary School when voters were issued with only five ballot papers instead of six. Although disgruntled, the voters proceeded to vote in other races.