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Study shows varsity students prefer electoral college voting

Wednesday July 24 2019

University students during campaigns.

A student leader is congratulated after election at Masinde Muliro University. University students support the new voting system of electing their leaders through an electoral college as opposed to all of them participating in the exercise, a study has revealed. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

OUMA WANZALA
By OUMA WANZALA
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University students support the new voting system of electing their leaders through an electoral college as opposed to all of them participating in the exercise, a study has revealed.

The study, which was conducted by CPS Research International in both public and private universities, indicates that students are satisfied with the election process as it is fair, democratic and transparent.

A total of 58.9 percent of the students are satisfied with the current electoral college system while 41.1 percent of the students are dissatisfied with it,” reads the study which was released Tuesday by lead researcher Herman Manyora.

MOST SATISFIED

Strathmore University was the most satisfied with current electoral college system, having a score index of 80 percent, according to the study.

The study looked at awareness, satisfaction and constitution of electoral college systems, satisfaction, confidence levels and issues of national diversity for students’ unions in Kenyan universities and satisfaction with the electoral process within the unions.

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A total of 85 percent of the university students were aware of the electoral college system (ECS) in Kenya.

The study also adds that 56.1 percent of the students are satisfied with their current students associations’ leadership while 43.9 percent are not.

Further, 60.3 percent of the respondents believe the current students’ councils reflect national diversity while 39.7 percent think otherwise.

The study also indicate that 67 percent of the respondents are satisfied with how universities regulate campaigns, financing, offences and penalties while 33 percent of them were not satisfied.

UNIONS

Five public universities where students are satisfied with their associations are Technical University of Kenya, Machakos University, University of Nairobi, Masinde Muliro University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

In private universities, students of Mount Kenya University, KCA University, Africa Nazarene University , Strathmore University and United States International University are satisfied with their councils.

The study recommends that the students’ unions, universities and key stakeholders should enhance awareness of how the current electoral college system works.

NATIONAL DIVERSITY

“[There is] need to retain the ECS system as majority of students like it. Also, it promotes national diversity and reduces the probability of violence during elections,” recommends the report.

The study also recommends that student associations should conduct annual general meetings and students’ caucuses to increase transparency in unions.

“Engage reputable firms to train universities’ on elections processes and management,” it adds.

At the moment, the elections are normally conducted by students with the support of management.