IEBC postpones repeat poll in Kisumu, Migori, Homa Bay and Siaya

Voters queuing in the August 8 election
Voters queuing in the August 8 election

The IEBC has postponed the repeat elections in four counties in the opposition National Super Alliance stronghold of Nyanza to October 28 citing security challenges.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati acknowledged on Thursday that protesters allied to NASA disrupted polling activities in Kisumu, Migori, Homa Bay and Siaya .

He said that the counties will get to vote on Saturday once security agencies get the situation under control.

“Security is not in the hands of the commission. We were promised security by the Inspector-General of the Police and the government agencies  and once we get feedback from them we shall be able to see how we can manage the movement of materials and the security of our officers in the affected counties,” said Mr Chebukati.

The four counties who largely heeded Mr Odinga’s call to boycott the repeat exercise have a combined a combined 1,863,182 registered voters.

The vote counts in these counties went overwhelmingly for Mr Odinga in the August 8 elections, where they handed him a landslide win. Homa Bay and Siaya gave the opposition leader  99 per cent of the votes while Kisumu and Migori gave him 97 percent and 85 percent respectively..

In some of the polling stations, the presiding officers and clerks failed to show up while some polling sites were barricaded to prevent access. Some schools where voting was to take place had their gates welded or riveted shut.

The postponement by the polls body is provided in the Elections Act allowing the commission to postpone an election if it believes that a serious breach of the peace is likely to occur of it is held, if it is impossible because of a natural disaster or an emergency and if there has been an electoral malpractice so big that the election cannot proceed.

The Elections Act also provides for the IEBC to declare the winner of an election if it is of the opinion that the results missing would not make much of a difference. It states, in Section 55B (3): “Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the Commission may, if satisfied that the result of the elections will not be affected by voting in the area in respect of which substituted dates have been appointed, direct that a return of the elections be made.”

Mr Chebukati was to brief reporters on the turnout later in the evening.