Covid-19 Travel Bans Affect Diaspora Voter Registration Campaign IEBC

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The voter registration exercise for Kenyans living in the Diaspora is ongoing in various countries.

The Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) kicked off the campaign on Friday for a 15-day period.

The exercise will take place in the 18 registration centers in the following countries; United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa South.

The chairman of the electoral body, Wafula Chebukati, said the registration exercise will take place “during official working hours at the Kenyan Embassies, High Commission and Consulates in the respective countries.

However, due to travel restrictions and logistical challenges related to COVID -19, the exercise will not take place as planned at the Kenya High Commission in London, Canada (Kenya High Commission in Ottawa, Honorary Consulate of the Kenya in Toronto and Honorary Consulate of Kenya in Vancouver) and United Arab Emirates (Embassy of Kenya in the United Arab Emirates and Consulate of Kenya in Dubai).

“The Commission regrets the delay in rolling out the voter registration exercise in the countries concerned and is working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure that it gets underway,” Chebukati said in a statement.

The polling organization has pledged to expand the exercise in affected countries to make up for lost days.

“At the start, the exercise will be extended by the number of days lost to ensure that eligible voters have the 15 days set for registration,” the president said.

He affirmed the Commission’s commitment to providing Kenyans in the affected Diaspora countries with the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to register to vote to enable them to participate in the upcoming August 9 elections.

Meanwhile, the IEBC has released August 9 as the date for the general election.

In the gazette notice, Chebukati also listed the timelines for the various pre-election processes.

He said a political party intending to nominate a presidential candidate through direct nominations or party primaries must submit the name of the person nominated to stand for election to the Commission no later than Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Chebukati further stated that candidates intending to contest the elections as independent candidates must not be members of any registered political party by May 2, 2022, at least 3 months before the general election.

He also said that a public official who intends to run in the general election must resign from public office by Wednesday, February 9, 2022.

The IEBC boss said the campaign period for the August 9 general election will officially start on Sunday, May 29, 2022.

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