All set for Garissa by-election as IEBC pledges fairness

Five candidates will battle it out to succeed Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The electoral commission has promised a free and fair by-election for Garissa Township constituency today.

More than 54,000 voters will cast their votes in 103 polling stations to elect an MP and succeed Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale. Duale resigned as MP after he was appointed to Cabinet by President William Ruto.

 The county returning officer briefed the presiding officer and other election officials at Garissa University, the main tallying centre.

Addressing the press, Garissa County election manager Abdiwahid Hussein said preparations for the by-election were complete and election materials have been delivered to all polling stations in the constituency.

“We had peaceful elections in Garissa in August and we are asking the same to happen this time. As a commission we are prepared to conduct free, fair and credible elections,” he said.

Hussein told politicians to stay away from polling stations saying this causes unnecessary tension and urged voters to go home after casting the ballot.

He said identification of voters will be through the Kiems kit.

Hussein assured that enough police officers have been deployed to secure electoral officials and voters.

Security has been heightened around the town with police officers keeping vigil in different areas.

“We will not allow politicians to be moving from one polling station to another. They have done their campaigns and they should allow the electorate to make their choices without being intimidated,” said Garissa County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich.

Mr Cherutich said mapping of potential hot spots has been finalised and adequate security personnel will be deployed.

Five candidates will battle it out to succeed Duale after two withdrew from the race.

The candidates are Dekow Mohamed Barrow of UDA popularly known as Major Dekow, Nassir Dolal alias Jofle (UDM), Ibrahim Malow (Narc Kenya), Abdifaisal Amin (ODM) and former Fafi MP Abdikarim Osman of Democratic Party.

Kenya Kwanza has Major Dekow of UDA, Abdikarim of DP and Dolal of UDM while Azimio has Muhiadin Abdirashid of DAP-Kenya, Malow of Narc-Kenya, Amin of ODM.

Duale pitched tent in the constituency to campaign for the UDA candidate while UDM leader and Mandera Senator Ali Roba supports Dolal.