High Court again extends voter registration deadline by 3 more days

Activist Okiya Omtata argued that the law only requires that the exercise be stopped two months to a general election.

IEBC officials witnessed long queues at the registration centres on Tuesday, February 14, 2017.

This follows a similar action by the court which on Tuesday extended the exercise to Thursday after a petition by activist Okiya Omtatah.

Omtata argued that the law only requires that the exercise be stopped two months to a general election.

The IEBC had earlier ruled out extending the exercise beyond the stipulated timelines.

“We don’t have time. We are not extending the period for registration beyond February 14. No registration of voters will occur anywhere [after that date]," Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati said.

Obey court orders

Chebukati said timelines given for preparations for the August 8 general election did not allow delays.

However, the commission after internal consultations deemed it appropriate to obey the court order and instructed its registration officers to extend the registration exercise.

IEBC have assured the public of delivering a credible poll in August despite endless court cases leaving its calendar in a shambles.

Chebukati says they are planning to kick off voter verification despite a number of court cases challenging the commission’s mass voter registration deadline.

IEBC says it spends Sh70 million per day in mass registration.

The extra three days will come as a huge relief to voters who turned up in large numbers on the last days across various IEBC registration centres in the country in a bid to beat the deadline.

Last minute rush

IEBC officials witnessed long queues at the registration centres on Tuesday - an occurrence which was not witnessed on the other 29 days of the exercise.

Politicians across both sides of the political divide had also pleaded with the IEBC to extend the voter registration exercise.

The IEBC had last year awarded the lucrative tender to a Dubai based company, however Coalition of reforms and democracy (CORD) rejected the award contract and moved to court challenging it on grounds it was awarded illegally.

High Court judge, George Odunga cancelled the tender awarded to Al Ghuraiar Printing and Publishing Company citing lack of election laws compliance.

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