The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) plans to register between four to six million voters in the second phase of mass voter registration exercise scheduled for next week.
IEBC projects that at least 22 million voters will cast their ballots on August 8, 2017 to elect new leaders as per the Constitution.
The first registration done in February to March last year targeted four million new voters will be done from February 14 to March 15, 2016, but about 15.9 million voters’ names had been uploaded in the database pending verification and certification by June last year.
“The second phase is meant to increase the number of registered voters by between four and six million. Some 7,793 BVR kits will be deployed at the ward level based on geographical considerations as opposed to 5,776 used in the last registration,” according to the IEBC chief executive officer Ezra Chiloba on Monday.
Preparation of the provisional register will begin on February 22. Gazetting and certifying of the register will last 30 days before elections. Some 300 centres, whose names or locations have changed, will be amended and published in a gazette notice.
Another development that ended on 9 February was the resignation of Public Officers intending to stand for elective posts and the resignation from Political Parties of aspirants intending to stand for elective positions as independent candidates scheduled for May at least six months to the polls.
However, this does not affect the President, Deputy President, governors, deputy governors, Members of Parliament and Member of the County Assemblies.
The Elections Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 assented into law by President Uhuru Kenyatta after its passage by both Houses of Parliament gives public servants only five months to work before they resign to contest political offices.
Further, the law brings into effect the Election Laws (Amendment) Act and the Election Offenses Act bringing in a broad range of Electoral Reforms ahead of the 2017 elections.
Among the reforms is the requirement for political parties to carry out their nominations at least 60 days to the elections rather than the previously allowed 45 days.
The law also compels politicians to choose their parties at least 90 days to the elections with the Act making it mandatory for parties to submit lists of their members to the IEBC at least 90 days to the date of the General elections.
The Act further introduces a new framework for the recruitment of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Commissioners while laying the platform for the exit of the current office bearers.
Others are requirements for those contesting for member of Parliament or Member of the County Assembly to have a university degrees to apply in 2022 elections. The Elections Campaign Financing Act, 2013 was amended to provide for the reduction period by which persons need to have opened mandatory campaign financing bank accounts.
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Once all the parties are acquainted with the new law, the electorate will focus on the nominations for Senators, Members of Parliament, Governor, Women Representatives, and County Representatives for most political parties a process likely to take place between March and June that will culminate into successful candidates submitting nomination papers to the IEBC.
From the controversial debate on the Election Laws (Amendment) Act, the party nomination exercise will be a litmus for political parties that will carry them out in a transparent, accountable and democratic manner to nominate their candidates.
After all the candidates, have been nominated, they will be gazetted before the election day. Those who will emerge winners as per the seat contested will result into:
The President and Deputy President: winner of the presidential election will have garnered a simple majority vote (50 +1%) as well as 25% of the votes in at least 24 of the 47 counties.
The National Assembly: Two hundred and ninety members, each elected by the registered voters of single member constituencies and forty-seven women, each elected by the registered voters of the counties, each county constituting a single member constituency.
The Senate: Forty-seven members each elected by the registered voters of the counties, each county constituting a single member constituency.
County Assembly: 1,450 are elected by the registered voters of the wards within the 47 counties.