High court extends mass voter registration by two more days

The court ordered for the exercise to be extended until February 16 when the case will be heard.

The High Court on Tuesday extended the ongoing voter registration by two more days to February 16, 2017.

The mass voter registration was scheduled to end on Tuesday but following a petition by activist Okiya Omtata, the court ordered for the exercise to be extended until February 16 when the case will be heard.

Justice Chacha Mwita extended the deadline and directed that the activist immediately serve the commission with suit papers.

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.

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

The extension will come as a relief for voters who turned up in large numbers on the last day 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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