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VAS

Probe cases of rejected votes, polls body told

BUSIA
By | September 28th 2010

By STANDARD REPORTER

The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) should investigate why nearly 200,000 votes were rejected at the August 4 referendum.

On Monday, the Elections Observation Group (ELOG), which comprises seven religious and civic society organisations, published a report on the referendum.

The report gave the IIEC a thumbs-up, saying voting was "free and fair" and the results "reflected the wishes of Kenyans."

But it also called for legislation to control political campaign financing, misuse of State resources and legalisation of electronic voting and transmission of results.

IIEC Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan receives a report on the August 4 referendum from election observers Peter Alingo (second left), Kennedy Masimo and Mercy Njoroge in Nairobi, yesterday. [PHOTO: GOVEDI ASUTSA/STANDARD]

The group deployed about 10,700 observers, including 500 at tallying centres on August 4.

The report raises questions over the many Kenyans who needed help to cast their ballots besides misinformation during campaigns.

IIEC Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan said they would investigate the group’s findings.

code of conduct

Mr Peter Alingo, a member of the group’s steering committee said IIEC should conduct "a thorough scientific investigation of why we had such a high number of rejected votes."

He called for strict adherence to the elections code of conduct, introduction of constitutional education in the school curriculum and enforcement of standard civic education.

ELOG Co-ordinator Mercy Njoroge said 69 per cent of poll stations surveyed, received voting materials in time for the August referendum.

She, however, disclosed that in 53 per cent of stations observed, one to 15 voters were not permitted to vote for lack of identification papers, faulty vote rolls and for coming to wrong stations among other anomalies.

Mr Hassan said the proposed Elections and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissions Bills seek to consolidate electoral laws and improve elections’ management.

He also called for amendment of the Political Parties Act.

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