IEBC announces 2017 election date

Thursday December 10 2015

President Uhuru Kenyatta receiving his certificate from IEBC chairman Issack Hassan at the Bomas of Kenya on March 9, 2013 when he was announced winner of the presidential elections. Kenya could host one of the most expensive elections on the continent yet, according to a plan launched by IEBC. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

President Uhuru Kenyatta receiving his certificate from IEBC chairman Issack Hassan at the Bomas of Kenya on March 9, 2013 when he was announced winner of the presidential elections. Kenya could host one of the most expensive elections on the continent yet, according to a plan launched by IEBC. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT
More by this Author

At least 22 million voters are expected to cast their ballots on August 8, 2017 to elect new leaders after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission set the date for the next elections.

The electoral body fixed the date for the next elections despite recent efforts by MPs to move the polls to December.

IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan announced the date at the commission’s offices at Anniversary Towers in Nairobi where a schedule for the mass registration of voters was also revealed.

“The next General election will be held on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 as per the Constitution. That is only 19 months away or 607 days to be exact,” said Mr Hassan.

The supreme law says that elections must be done on the first Tuesday of August during the fifth year of the reigning regime.

Lawmakers have been pushing for a change saying holding the polls would lead to inconveniences including disrupting the schools’ calendar.

A Motion sponsored by Ugenya MP David Ochieng to realise the change was defeated in the House in October but there is a possibility it could be revived after six months.

However, the commission on Thursday urged Kenyans to get ready for the polls saying it was launching mass registration of voters early next year in preparation for the elections.

The first registration targeting four million new voters will be done from February 14 to March 15, 2016.

The electoral body targets eight million new voters before the next polls and on Thursday said it hopes to half the target in the February/March registration.

Over 14 million voters were registered during the last elections although about 12 million cast their votes.

According to Mr Hassan, the exercise has been called following slow uptake of voting cards over the last one year.

So far, the commission has only registered 106, 000 new voters since it began the exercise last year.