Diaspora Voter Listing Planned For Next February

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will February next year register Kenyans living in foreign countries in time for them to vote in the August General Election.

President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a guard of honor by his host French President François Hollande on arrival to France | Photo: KBCTV

President Uhuru Kenyatta made the commitment while addressing Kenyans living in France.

“The IEBC needs to be facilitated to ensure that Kenyans in the diaspora are registered and able to exercise their democratic right next year,” Mr Kenyatta said.

He reckoned that registration for dual citizenship–which is provided in the supreme law enacted in 2010 — was lagging targets. Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohammed urged Kenyans in diaspora to register online.

“For a long time we have been working with estimates, which has made it difficult to implement specific projects. You do not have to register with the embassies you can also do it online,” she said.

The IEBC in January issued rules to guide the diaspora voter registration and voting amid lack of data on Kenyans living abroad.

The IEBC requires that there must be at least 3,000 Kenyan citizens in a particular country for it to set up a polling station there.

Kenyans will only vote for President, take part in a referendum but not vote choose MCAs, MPs, senators, governors and women representatives.

This is in fulfilment of constitutional requirements as well as the decision of the Supreme Court that Kenyans living abroad should vote.

In March 2013 elections, the IEBC only facilitated Kenyan citizens within the East African region to vote.

Last year, the Supreme Court ordered progressive registration of Kenyans living abroad to enable them participate in local elections. This followed a petition by a lobby group, New Vision Kenya.

– Business Daily