Francis Atwoli calls for ballot paper printing to be done locally

Francis Atwoli after casting his ballot at the Ebukhwale polling station in Kisa, Khwisero Constituency, Kakamega County. [Alexander Chagema, Standard]  

Central Organization of Trade Union Kenya (COTU) boss Francis Atwoli on Tuesday called on the government to put down measures to enable ballot papers to be printed locally instead of abroad.

Reacting to Monday’s move by IEBC to suspend elections in four elective seats in various parts of the country following a mix-up in the printing of ballot papers, Atwoli said it is time for the printing to be done in the country since we have the capabilities.

“If these papers were printed here, they could have been rectified last night (Monday). Now we have to wait for the papers to be printed afresh in Athens, Greece. We have the government printing press, Dela Rue and so many other options. We don’t want to blame IEBC for that. But I am sure at a later gazetted time, we will be able to vote for our preferred candidate,” said Atwoli.

The elective areas affected include Mombasa and Kakamega counties where governor elections have been suspended until further notice.

On Tuesday morning, Rongai MP elections in Nakuru were also suspended indefinitely after it emerged ballot papers had been mixed up with those of Kuresoi North.

Atwoli was addressing the press after casting his ballot at the Ebukhwale polling station in Kisa, Khwisero Constituency, Kakamega County.

“We expect 100 per cent voter turn out in western Kenya. Our agents have confirmed everything is running smoothly. We are thanking IEBC for the job they are doing so far. This is the best well-arranged election and we are sure of victory,” he added.

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