By Zahra Rashid
Wednesday, December 19 2012
Nairobi, Kenya - North Eastern Province of Kenya, a densely populated region recorded the least number of registered voters ahead of March 2013 general elections.
According to the latest data from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the ethnic Somalis were the least eager to register, standing at 30% with 320,000 out of 1,077,273 estimated registered voters.
The three counties, Mandera, Wajir and Garrisa had registered 23%, 34% and 35% respectively making them top of the the bottom five counties country wide.
According to the commission’s chairman, Mr. Issack Hassan the turn out of the three counties within the province was acceptable but not good enough.
“We expected to register about 1,077,273 voters but the turn of the whole province was 320,000, not half of the estimated number, classifying it among the province with the least registered voters,” He said.
Mr. Hassan said that there will be no extension of days for registration, stating that the one set for the exercise was enough.
Marking the end of 30 days of voters registration exercise, in the report there is an indication that the registration data could fall nearly at the same level as the 2007 roll that stood at 14.3 million.
According to the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the last General Election, the number of registered voters in 2007 represented 71 per cent of the 19.8 million people aged over 18.
Of that, the commission pointed out that the voter register had a low and biased coverage.
Even so Kenyans living in the EAC countries; Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi also continued registering, in the registration exercise which started on Friday and expected to end on Christmas day.
In Tanzania, registration is taking place in Dar-es-Salaam and Arusha while in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, booths have been stationed at missions in Kampala, Kigali and Bujumbura respectively.