No Manual Registration, No Elections, Says Raila to the IEBC

Raila Odinga, a presidential contender for the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition, has urged that the elections authority use a manual register in addition to its intention to only identify voters electronically.

Otherwise, “there would be no elections,” Mr. Odinga stated.

Speaking in Githunguri, Kiambu County, Mr. Odinga said it was a recipe for catastrophe if the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) didn’t have a manual backup to the electronic voter identification system.

“With a manual register, it will be easy to tell how many people have voted in every polling station. In the electronic register, there is no record that remains. That is why we’re saying that there must be a manual register at every polling station. It is not negotiable. We’re telling the IEBC they must have a manual register along with the biometric identification of voters on that day. La hivyo, hakuna uchaguzi (Failure to which, there will be no election),” Mr Odinga said.

The IEBC appeared to give in last week to demands to use the manual register in addition to the electronic one, but Wafula Chebukati, the chairman, and Marjan Hussein Marjan, the chief executive, claimed it would only be used as a “last resort.”

Mr. Chebukati promised that the register issue would be resolved peacefully during a consultative meeting with the four presidential candidates, including Mr. Odinga, Deputy President William Ruto, candidate for the Roots Party George Wajackoyah, and his Agano counterpart David Mwaure Waihiga.

“The issue of the register will be addressed and it will be shared with the stakeholders and we shall break them down up to each polling station,” Mr Chebukati said at the meeting held at the Windsor Hotel in Kiambu County.

Mr Marjan, on his part, said: “The electronic register will be the primary document that we shall use but we are also saying that we shall provide the physical register which would be used as a last resort.”

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Written by Esther Oyugi

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