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LIVE TEXT: Kenya holds referendum on new law

Wednesday August 4 2010

Higher Education Minister William Ruto casts his vote at Kosachei Primary School Polling Centre in Eldoret North Constituency. PHOTO/ JARED NYATAYA.

Higher Education Minister William Ruto casts his vote at Kosachei Primary School Polling Centre in Eldoret North Constituency. PHOTO/ JARED NYATAYA.  

By NATION TEAM

17:00: The referendum poll closes and tallying begins countrywide, except in the polling stations where voting began later than the opening time. As noted, IIEC will be giving hourly updates beginning from 6pm. Check our site for live updates of the tally.

16:50: Uwiano Platform for Peace , an organisation working with the Government to monitor cases of incitement and violence during the referendum voter says that areas identified as potential hotspots are peaceful.

16:37: Obama speaks about Kenya as he talked at a town hall meeting with Kenya, reports Kevin J. Kelley: "Explaining that he had organised the three-day forum with the aim of “helping to strengthen grassroots networks of young people,” Mr Obama noted with a smile, “As they’re saying in Kenya today —”Yes, Youth Can! Yes, Youth Can!”

16:17: We shall be relaying the referendum results live on nation.co.ke from 17:00 (GMT+3.)

16:14: It's less than an hour to close of voting. IIEC will be giving hourly updates from 6pm, after the tallying process begins.

15:58: mtotowajirani on Twitter: "Most international media focussing on 'voting amid tight security'. They're itching for bloodshed...NOT happening!"

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15:54: Mwerevus comments on our story: "I am a Kenyan in the diaspora and would be most grateful if the Government could ensure that we in the diaspora are able to cast our votes by the 2012 elections. IIEC, keep up the good work."

15:45: An election observer group, ELOG, gives a situational report on the referendum vote so far: "ELOG would like to call for a speedy resolution of any pending issues which may bar observers from accessing the polling station...to expedite its communication between the headquarters and its officers on the ground...Lapses in communication...have so far affected the observation process...Overall, ELOG would like to commend the IIEC for smooth management of the process so far."

15:36: Nation editor Charles Onyango Obbo writes on his blog: " I noticed a lot more of the middle class types, and the Kenyan bourgeoisie with their straw hats and Ray Ban sunglasses, out voting. These are the kind of people who stay away from the voter centres during elections, because there is often a lot of tension....My own sense is that that is good news for President Mwai Kibaki. The middle classes have most to benefit from this constitution."

15:29: coldtusker tweets:  "Some #Kenya voters plan to vote at 4pm. The will complain about the lines! Go now, dont wait till last minute!"

15:20: Check out the gallery of images of people voting from across the country on our site

15:17: A reader notes on Nation's website "Monitoring this from Australia, Kenyans let us choose our destiny. Whatever the outcome we need to remain peaceful. - Blessings, Joe"

15:06: It's less than two hours before voting closes. In many of the polling stations around the country, where they are queues, they are noticeably shorter.

14:42: Prime Minister Raila Odinga asks the two opposing sides in the referendum to be ready to accept the voters’ verdict, report Nation's Alphonce Shiundu and Walter Menya. Raila spoke at the Bomas of Kenya, which has been turned into the National Referendum Tallying Centre

14:35: Kenya's First Lady Lucy Kibaki voted at Othaya's Munaini Primary School at one in the afternoon, two hours after President Kibaki voted at the same venue.

14:30: Voting closes in less than three hours now; an exercise that has largely been smooth and peaceful. Maybe the reason Wanjiku writes on her twitter post: "Apparently the international media in Nairobi r bored because there is no "action" how sad!"

14:00 General Service Unit personnel continue to be deployed at the national tallying centre in Bomas, three hours before polls close at 5 p.m, according to Nation reporters Walter Menya and Alphonce Shiundu.

13: 58 Area Returning Officer Moses Sarara said the IIEC had mobilised tractors and motorbikes to assist in transportation and urged voters in the affected voters to bear with the electoral body.

13: 52 Voting delayed at Olpusimoru, Olloropil, Enteiyani and Sakutiek polling centres in Narok South constituency as vehicles ferrying voting materials get stuck in the mud due to heavy rains, report Julius Sigei and Dave Opiyo from the field.

13: 43 In Nyeri, the Nation's head of news Patrick Nzioka said residents came out in large numbers since early morning to vote so as to grant the President's legacy of giving Kenyans a new constitution.

13: 35 In Westlands constituency, the Nation's Caroline Wafula visited Kilimani, Lavington and Kihumbuini primary schools and reported a huge turnout. However, she said there was confusion over names in the electoral roll.

13: 29 In Karachuonyo constituency, the elections coordinator, Joseph Juma, reported a 57 per cent voter turnout as of 1 p.m.

13: 26 "So disgusted! Cdnt (sp) vote! Ati ma name is not in the register?" Wambui Miringu on Facebook.

13:21 He commends the IIEC for a job well done and says so far the polling has gone on smoothly.

13: 19 The PM urges all Kenyans to come out and cast their vote so as to participate in the historic occasion.

13: 17 Mr Odinga meets with the commissioners and says he wanted to familiarise himself with the system.

13: 14 Prime Minister Raila Odinga is at the national tallying centre in Bomas where he is being taken round by IIEC deputy CEO Gladys Shollei.

13: 10 Deputy prime minister Musalia Mudavadi and House Speaker Kenneth Marende have voted at Mululu primary School, Sabatia constituency and Mumboha polling station in Vihiga.

13: 05 "In Lagos, but would vote in a heartbeat if given the chance. Diaspora should vote through Embassies," Veelites on twitter.

12:58 Narok North MP George Saitoti cast his ballot at Ngong Township Primary School and assured Kenyans that security was beefed up in all regions of the country to deal with any eventuality.

12: 51 Peter Kenneth has voted at Kirwara polling station in his Gatanga where he told his constituents that irrespective of a Yes or No win, Kenya will remain as one.

12: 45 Six hours since voting started, Kenyans are still coming out in large numbers to decide the destiny of their country.

12:40 "Let's not forget the lessons of 07. It's more than a win of yes or no; it's us as a nation walking to our future hand in hand," Wakuraia on twitter.

12: 34 Bishop James Mugania of the Redeemed Gospel Church votes at Kariobangi South Primary and calls for a peaceful Kenya where all God's children should live in harmony.

12: 29 "I am in north America. How I wish I could be there to vote! But make no mistake:, I am voting through my relatives. And I am busy monitoring the voting through live texts. God bless Kenya," says jfeo, blogging on the Nation website.

12:24 The No camp that is opposed to the proposed constitution cites the clauses on abortion, land, devolution and kadhi courts as issues that inform their decision.

12: 20 "I have read the constitution, I have understood it and now ...I intend to vote by 16:00 hrs today...Like many of my country men and women," Tipapa Ole Odupoy on Facebook.

12:15 At St Peter's Claver polling centre in Starehe constituency, at least five voters left dejected after being informed they had joined the wrong queue and were required to join another to vote.

12: 12 Police have set up an operations centre at Vigilance House to monitor security throughout the country.

12: 07 "Kenyans! Must someone keep reminding us to maintain peace....." Kabuja Benjah Waigwa Kabuga on Facebook.

11:58 Opinion polls have placed the Yes side in the lead, but ultimately it will be voters who decide whether Kenyans get a new constitution or will maintain the old order.

11: 50 "Indeed, a great day. I voted at 8.30am. By 5.45am lines were already long at Bidii Primary Sch., Buruburu. However the process was fast despite some confusion in the way the names were arranged," odhiodongo, a blogger.

11: 45 Voting for the 251 prisoners registered at Kamiti Prison is underway out of a total of 2,700 inmates. Most were locked out of the process for lack of a national ID.

11: 43 "At St teresa's eastleigh i found my surname is not common n so i voted within 5 min.i like the whole experience wow!" Mary Rafael W on Facebook.

11: 38 Zanzibar held a successful referendum in favour of the formation of a government of national unity (http://bit.ly/dvnd7W ) The challenge is on Kenya to replicate that success.

11:35 He blames heavy rains for the delay in opening some polling stations in various parts of the country.

11: 32 IIEC chairman Isaack Hassan says that a presiding officer in Marakwet has died after falling ill and condoles the family.

11: 26: After voting, President Kibaki restates his call for Kenyans to maintain peace during and after the referendum.

11: 23 "Goodness feels like am the only one not voted yet..but will be there four sharp my baby strapped on my back and oohh yes, i will vote!" Florence Mbugua on Facebook.

11: 17 Higher Education minister William Ruto says that the No camp has told Kenyans why they should reject the proposed constitution and it is up to them to make their decision.

11:13 President Kibaki is leading the push for a new constitution and has told Kenyans to seize the moment and usher in a new constitutional dispensation that will bring development.

11:05 Breaking News President Kibaki casts his ballot at Munaini Primary School in his Othaya constituency.

11:00 "My 1st time to vote, hopefully it will be free and fair, and it wont be my last. The RE-birth of a nation starts with us!" smuravvej on twitter.

10:53 An estimated 4,000 observers are expected to witness the national vote tallying at the Bomas of Kenya when the referendum poll closes this evening.

10:45 RT @dailynation: "Prime Minister Raila Odinga casts his vote at Old Kibera Primary School in his Langata constituency," greatrnk on twitter.

10: 38 In Makadara constituency, the Nation's Jillo Kadida saw voters being given copies of the proposed constitution before entering the polling station at St Paul's Primary School.

10: 35 "Turn out was great didn't think there were so many Kenyans in fedha area. But turnout seemed 2 b of a male majority where are we women?" Ann Muigai on Facebook.

10:30 Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi, a No proponent, votes at Amwamba Primary School.

10: 28 She says that the clause on devolution will bring about a bottom-up approach to development.

10:26 The Water minister says the polls were well conducted and urges the people of Kenya to ready themselves for self-governance once the proposed law is passed.

10: 24 Kitui Central MP Ngilu casts her vote at Ithokwee Primary School.

10:22 Mr Odinga is one of the leading proponents of the Yes camp that urged Kenyans to vote in favour of the proposed constitution during their campaigns.

10:19 Breaking News Prime Minister Raila Odinga casts his vote at Old Kibera Primary School in his Langata constituency.

10:11"AWESOME!!! Voting in Kileleshwa is so smooth! no hurry no noise.... just how Kenya should be! I'm really loving this country right now," Kwame Bonsu on Facebook.

10:05 IIEC Chairman Isaack Hassan says that the electoral body will ensure voters cast their ballot in secrecy.

10:00 Narok South MP Nkoidila Ole Lankas cast his vote and says confident of Yes victory.

09:55 "In the US, the only thing that's high is hope for a peaceful voting.. how I wish I could vote. God bless Kenya!," Danny Dannie Mwas on Facebook.

09: 49 RT @dailynation "polling delayed in n. Mugirango due 2 lack of rubber stamps.. Same probs that discredited kivuitu's eck," wasmaniac on twitter.

09:43 A boat belonging to the IIEC, which was ferrying election material, capsizes in Tana River. Officials said to be safe.

09:35 In North Mugirango constituency, polling was delayed at Mogusii due to lack of rubber stamps, our reporter, Henry Nyayora, says.    

09:30 "I've already voted at Kituvu Pri. Sch in Kathiani constituency. Voter turnout was low then (because it was early and its a market day today), but it will pickup as the day goes by. The IIEC staff were very organised. Kudos IIEC," Saulo Matheka on Facebook.

09: 25 Voting will close at 5 p.m. after which tallying will begin. Respective polling stations will channel their results to both the constituency tallying centre and the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya.

09: 20 "I am in the booth. Ready 2 vote 4 Yes. Dujis const, GARISSA TOWN," Akmaldin Ihsaan Ogloo Digale on Facebook.

09: 15 The Bishop, who is opposing the proposed constitution due to clauses on abortion and kadhi courts appealed to Kenyans to uphold peace throughout the vote and maintain it whatever the outcome. He said that life was precious sand urged Kenyans to restrain from acts of violence.

09:10 Catholic Bishop John Cardinal Njue casts his vote at Parochial Primary School.

09:08 Mr Kenyatta said he was confident of a Yes win and urged Kenyans to turn out in large numbers for the vote and do so peacefully.

09: 05 Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta has voted at Mutomo polling centre in his Gatundu South constituency.

09:00 Former President Moi, who is opposed to the proposed law, cast his ballot at 7.30 a.m. at Kabarak Primary School in Nakuru.

08:53 "Kamukunji-PUMWANI SOCIAL HALL has a queue stretching more than 800 meters, a people quing (sp) with dignity. Harmony and peace is manifest," David Lutta on Facebook.

08:46 Early trends across the country point to a huge turnout for the plebiscite on the proposed constitution with virtually all polling stations reporting long queues.

08:44 For facts and figures on the referendum check http://bit.ly/9nYPT1

08:40 "It is great seeing Kenyans of all walks of life waking up early and queuing patiently waiting to take their destiny into their own hands. All these are huge steps towards real democracy based on respect and freedom. Let's hope the day continues this way," Shaugi Said on Facebook.

08:35 "I have voted in Eldoret east. The turnout is impressive, kudos IIEC," pmwangi on twitter.

08:30 Prime Minister Raila Odinga was recently interviewed by the Sunday Nation where he outlined his hope for Kenya http://bit.ly/aRXiPU

08:23 "I have voted too at Sheikh Nurein.." 4zinho on twitter.

08:18 38 prisoners have cast their ballot at the Kitui GK Prison, where the Nation's Benjamin Muindi reported a heavy presence of observers, local and international.

08:13 "I have voted at Lumakanda township primary school Lugari and the turn out is great," Edwin Anagava on Facebook.

08:07 At the Kilimani Primary School in Westlands constituency, voters congratulated the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) officials for being well organised.

07: 59 In his first media interview, President Kibaki spoke to the Sunday Nation and the enactment of a new constitution would herald a new dawn for Kenya. For the full interview go to: http://bit.ly/dA2eJj

07:54 "I intend to cast my vote at the Parochial primary school after midday when the long queues have subsided," George Gopal on Facebook.

07:48 At the Holy Family Basilica Parochial Primary School, the Nation's Alphonce Shiundu witnessed long queues and heard complaints from voters saying they were confused at the ordering of names in the register.

07: 44: At Maua Girls School in Igembe South constituency Nation Reporter Fred Mukinda said people were streaming in to vote and reported no hitches in the voting exercise.

07: 38 "I have voted already at Qubaa primary school in Mvita. I am in my house waiting for results, may the peace be upone (sp) us," Bildad Kemboy on Facebook.

07:34 At Ololunga Primary School, in Narok South, our reporter Dave Opiyo said voting started at 6 a.m. and was progressing well. The constituency has 82, 281 registered voters and 156 polling centres.

07:30 President Kibaki will vote at Munaini Primary School in Othaya at 10 a.m. while the PM will vote at the Old Kibera Primary School in his Langata constituency at 9 a.m.

07:25 The principals are expected to cast their ballots in their constituencies later in the morning.

07:22 President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga appealed to Kenyans to come out and vote and maintain peace during and after the referendum.

07:16 The campaigns for or against the proposed constitution ended on Monday as both the Yes and No teams made a final pitch for votes.

07:09 In Makueni constituency, the Nation's John Kisu reported a high turnout in Mukiambua and Matooeni polling stations.

07: 05 At the Doonholm Primary School in Embakasi constituency, the queue was at least two kilometres long by 7 a.m.

07:02 At the Moi Avenue Primary School polling centre in Starehe constituency, Kenyans joined the queue as early as 5 a.m. to exercise their constitutional right.

07:00 Long queues have started forming at polling stations across the country.

06: 58 The colour Green was picked to represent the Yes side while Red will be the symbol for the No side.

06:55 12.6 million Kenyans have registered to vote in the referendum and they will be required to vote either Yes or No to the referendum question: Do you approve the proposed new constitution?

06: 52 Polling across the country started at 6 a.m and will close at 5p.m. in 27,689 polling stations spread over 210 constituencies.

06: 51 Kenyans go to the polls to either approve or reject the proposed constitution at a referendum on Wednesday.

06:50 A very good morning to you all. Keep it here for updates of the referendum exercise.

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