Observers decry low voter turnout in Kabuchai, Matungu mini-polls

The percentage of eligible voters who participated in the Matungu and Kabuchai constituencies by-elections appears to have been uninspiring.

According to observers who were accredited by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission IEBC to oversee the exercise in the two electoral areas, the numbers in the mini-polls fell way below the expected turn out.

“We know that for those who have come out to vote, the numbers are not impressive. We are roughly below 50 percent of registered voters.” Hussein Khalid, a member of the observers’ mission noted on Thursday evening.

Khalid, who also serves as the Executive Director of Haki Africa, regretted that this is a trend that has been developing especially during snap elections even as he noted that a lot more needs to be done to change this state of affairs.

“We would like to see this improve in the future.”  He said

However, the observers were quick to commend the manner in which the two elections were conducted. Specifically, the observer group singled out what they termed as admirable performance by the electoral officers as “we noted that IEBC officials were well prepared for the poll.”

Even though a number of incidences had been recorded especially outside various polling stations, the observers noted that these occurrences were not at a scale that they could jeopardize the credibility of the poll or its final outcome.

They further commended security agencies for ensuring the polls went on smoothly amid these incidences.

“Elections have remained fairly peaceful.  There have been heavy police presence which have helped maintain the peace. Most constituents have remained peaceful even as they went out to exercise their right to vote.” Khalid remarked.

IEBC is expected to release the final results of the two by-elections Friday at dawn.


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