An official of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says the group is pleased with the conduct of Monday’s general election despite security and logistical challenges during the voting.
IEBC Commissioner Ambassador Yusuf Nzibo says he was satisfied with the big voter turnout during the election.
Results of the election have been trickling in following the official conclusion of the poll late Monday night.
“We are now receiving results from the smaller polling stations that opened on time and closed at 5pm [local time]. I guess by morning we will have some trend where major results will probably begin streaming in. By [Tuesday] evening, we will probably be getting a direction,” said Nzibo.
The IEBC estimates that 14 million Kenyans were eligible to vote in the elections, the first since the 2007-2008 post-election ethnic violence that killed more than 1,300 people and displaced hundreds of thousands from their homes.
“We are very happy though we have had hitches of security of logistics, we had a very big turnout. Kenya has never witnessed this very high turnout so that has been challenging especially in urban areas where the cues were very long,” said Nzibo.
He says the IEBC was able to resolved issues related to the malfunction of the biometric voter identification system during the balloting.
Nzibo also noted some of the challenges the electoral body faced in organizing the vote.
“The problem is that we were introducing too many things at the same time, including a lot of changes that came in very late — changes in law, changes in the Political Parties Act… We have had challenges of batteries in the biometric equipment, this is a new system which has not been tested before,” said Nzibo.
He also says it was too early to determine what caused the number of rejected ballots during the voting process.
Analysts say the presidential election is hotly contested between Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta.
Nzibo says the IEBC will keep its promise to ensure transparency in the collection, transmission and the release of the election results.
“We are guaranteeing them, we shall be impartial [and] that our systems are open. We have agreed with the political parties to bring a team to scrutinize these results before they are released,” said Nzibo.
“We are reassuring Kenyans that we shall not see a repeat of what happened in 2007 when documents were being tampered. This time around, we’ve been very transparent and the media has also helped us. But of course, there are complaints from the political parties, which we are addressing,” he concluded. VOA