By Isaac Ongiri
The Electoral Commission has set aside Sh2.5 billion for a possible 2013 presidential run-off as the main presidential aspirants in Kenya's 11th General Election study the emerging trend of election run-offs in Africa.
Scheduled to come weeks after a fatiguing electioneering campaign, the re-run dilemma has been Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman, Isaack Ahmed Hassan. (Photo:File/Standard)
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman, Isaack Ahmed Hassan. (Photo:File/Standard)
made worse by a constant afro-trend which has seen first round winners vanquished at the second round by their opponents.
And The Standard On Saturday has established that top presidential contenders in the coming elections, their campaign teams and the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission are now concentrating their efforts in strategising on how to effectively handle a run-off due to their unpredictable outcomes.
Under the new Constitution the popular winner of the elections must garner more than 50 per cent of the total votes cast and at least 25 per cent of votes in half of the countryÂfs 47 counties to be declared winner. If there will not be a clear winner in round one, Kenya will for the first time experience a run-off election.
And preparing to deliver a controversy-free election run-off, the IEBC Chief Executive Officer James Oswago confirmed that the commission has sent a team of experts to undertake a study in countries that have experienced run-off situations in their elections.
"We are taking keen interest on election run- offs just to make sure we are well prepared to handle it. The commission has also set aside about Sh2.5 billion to fund the second round of presidential election if an outright winner is not produced in the first round," Oswago said.
Oswago explained that the billions of shillings would be used to finance the ordinary elections logistics, pay temporary staff, and print the re-run ballot materials alongside other basic expenditures.
Oswago said top-level commission officers have visited Liberia and Senegal to study how the two countries conducted their own run-off elections.
Next month IEBC chief said another team of election officials is set to travel to France to monitor and study the French elections to be held on April 22.
The Kenyan election has all the prospects of a possible re-run tentatively slated for May 6, 2013.