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Elections exercise marred by low voter turnout

Three aspirants have expressed concern over low voter turnout during the Tuesday`s General Election.

Speaking to the media after casting their ballots at various polling stations in Naivasha Constituency, the aspirants who included the current Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara who is defending her seat on United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party ticket, Nakuru Senatorial aspirant on the same ticket Tabitha Karanja and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Nakuru Senatorial aspirant John Mututho urged residents of Naivasha, Nakuru County and the country as  a whole to go to their polling stations and exercise their democratic rights.

“If you don’t vote, you give opportunity to bad people to elect their own, hence bad leadership,” Mututho said. The aspirants however expressed optimism that the turnout would improve before the end of the day.

The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chair Mr. Wafula Chebukati on the voting day on Tuesday announced that only 30 per cent of registered voters had turned out to vote in the country by noon.

In Gilgil Constituency, the Constituency Returning Officer (RO) Mr. Peter Muigai said about 50 per cent of registered voters had turned up to cast their ballots by 4:00PM. It’s worth noting that polling officially kicked off at 6:00Am and closed at 5:00PM.

Gilgil Constituency has over 130,000 registered voters and 190 polling stations, serving the eight electoral wards.

IEBC cleared four aspirants to vie for the Gilgil parliamentary seat in the coming General Elections. The IEBC also cleared 55 candidates to fight it out for the five seats of Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) in Gilgil Constituency as independents and on various political parties.

IEBC last month recruited 198 Presiding Officers (POs), a similar number of their deputies and 1,330 polling clerks in Gilgil constituency in preparation for this General Election.

Naivasha Constituency on its part has 157,128 registered voters and 294 polling stations, serving the eight electoral wards in the constituency.

IEBC cleared 10 aspirants to vie for the Naivasha parliamentary seat in the coming General Elections. According to Muriuki, six of the aspirants were cleared to vie for the Naivasha parliamentary seat on political party tickets.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has recruited 294 Presiding Officers (PO) and 297 Deputy Presiding Officers (DPOs) and 1,788 polling clerks in Naivasha constituency to man the 294 polling stations and the tallying centre.

The country is voting this Tuesday, August 9 with over 22 million registered voters expected to elect their leaders at six level which include; the presidential, gubernatorial, senatorial, county women representatives, members of parliament and members of county assemblies.

By Mabel Keya –Shikuku and Erastus Gichohi

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