Chebukati admits IEBC is 'powerless', can't stop ongoing early campaigns
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) now admits it is powerless to stop the early campaigns being conducted by politicians countrywide.
While admitting politicians are breaking the law, IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati says the law does not give the commission any powers to reign in on the early campaigns.
Speaking on Wednesday when he met the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) to appraise them on election preparedness, Chebukati said the commission only has control on campaigns three months before the elections which is the official campaign period.
‘’As of now we know that early campaigns are ongoing and it’s against the Elections Act, and we hope the relevant agencies that deal with aspects of prosecution; that’s the office of the DPP, will take action against those breaking the law,” Chebukati said.
Chebukati also pleaded with the religious leaders to persuade the youth to come out in large numbers to register as voters even as he revealed they will hold another mass voter registration exercise in January next year.
He said the electoral commission has been promised an extra Ksh.8 billion, part of which will be used for mass voter registration.
While acknowledging voter apathy among the youth, considering the number of registered voters in the last mass voter registration exercise, Chebukati said every Kenyan should aspire to vote to determine the future of the country.
“Thereafter from February we will start the process of cleaning up the register, audit of the register, verification of the register and so the only chance Kenyans have both locally and even in the diaspora is to register in January because after that we will close the process of registering new voters,” said Chebukati.
While insisting on the importance of a clean voter register for free and fair elections, Chebukati said there is a need to finish the process early so as to focus on cleaning the register.
Chebukati says they are in the process of procuring over 100 items to be used in the next general elections, and despite challenges, they expect to finish the process in due cause.
Meanwhile, the commission is warning all aspirants to stop Harambess from Thursday 9th of December.
Chebukati says any aspirant participating in a Harambee risk being locked out of the next general elections as the law prescribes a period of 8 months before an election is held.
He however says aspirants can hold Harambees to aid themselves in their campaigns.