PRETORIA, Kenyans in South African and in the diaspora were able to vote outside their country for the first time Tuesday as the East African national held elections for the presidency, Parliament, county governors and country assemblies.
A total of 788 of Kenya’s estimated 20 million registered voters cast their ballot at the Kenyan High Commission (embassy) in Pretoria on Tuesday in a first for the Kenyan voters, following the confusion and disappointment during the 2013 elections.
At that time, although Kenya’s Constitution made provisions for people in the diaspora to vote, their right was cancelled days before the elections.
In previous years, dozens had died in pre-election violence fueled by ethnic divisions but the 2017 election process has been largely peaceful.
Kenya’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Jean Kamau, said: “This being the first time that we extended the votes outside Kenya into South Africa, it’s a significant achievement for our electoral process, and also for the realisation for the right to vote for Kenyans outside Kenya. So, we are quite pleased that happened, from planning to actualisation, and the turnout is really good.”
The presiding officer from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Shyller Jillo, said: “A few challenges that we had is that some Kenyans are registered in Kenya, coming to vote in South Africa. Definitely, we cannot allow them to vote, since you have to be registered in Pretoria to vote here. Apart from that everything else is okay.”
Vote counting started immediately after voting closed and results are expected within 24 to 48 hours.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK