After Mass Voter Registration, What’s Next on the Electoral Calendar?
The general elections in Kenya coming up this August year. As part of election preparations, the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) runs a series of activities that culminate to the actual elections. The commission has officially closed the second Mass Voter Registration exercise and is set to roll out several other activities. Here is an outline of activities according to IEBC’s scheduled released early this year:
- Registration of Citizens in Diaspora and Prisons
The IEBC plans to register Kenyans living abroad and prisons as voters in Kenyan Embassies, Consulates and Kenyan prisons. This year’s general elections will be the first where Kenyans in diaspora and prisons get to vote.
- Resignation of Public Officers
According to Section 43(5) of Elections Act, 2011 public officers who wish to vie for elective posts should resign from public office at least 6 months before the date of election. However, this does not apply to the President, Deputy President, County Governors and their Deputies, Members of Parliament and County Assemblies.
- Open Voter Register for Verification
The IEBC prepares the provincial register then invites citizens to verify their biometric data for a 30 day period. This process is set to run between April and May this year. Polling centres whose names and/or locations have changed are also amended and gazetted.
- Deployment of Election Management System
According to the IEBC calendar, the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) is set to be deployed at the end of April, 2017. IEBC describes this system as ‘transparent, simple, secure, verifiable, and highly reliable. The commission’s intention was to use this system during voter registration, candidates registration, voter verification and results transmission during the 2017 elections. This did not happen during the recently concluded voter registration and it is expected that it will be available when voter register verification begins in April.
- Political Party Primaries
Political parties are expected to conduct party primaries between April and June, 2017. their primaries at least 60 days before the election, between 13th and 26th April, 2017. Candidates should choose parties at least 90 days before elections. Political parties are required to adhere to the nomination checklist issued by the IEBC when conducting the party primaries.
- IEBC Nominations
The timeline for nominations for presidential and senatorial positions will take place on 28th and 29th May, 2017. Nominations for national assembly and gubernatorial positions are scheduled for 1st and 2nd June and the commission will publish the names of nominated persons between 10th and 17th June, 2017 as per electoral laws.