Monday, 21 November 2005
Kenyans countrywide are casting the ballot in a landmark referendum on the proposed Constitution. Voting began at 7 am but queues had started forming in most polling stations long before they were opened. Most leaders have called on Kenyans to remain calm during the poll. Voting has so far been peaceful.
This article first appeared unsigned in today's edition of the Kenyan newspaper the Nation. It has been edited for republication here.
However, confusion has reigned in some polling stations in Nairobi with people bearing old voter's cards or passports instead of identification cards, being turned away. Some names could not be traced in the voters' register.
Voting progressing smoothly
The Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) has clarified that passports should be accepted in the voting process. Old generation voters cards acquired before 1997 are not acceptable, as they should have been renewed. ECK commissioner, Mr Jack Tumwa, said the missing names could have been occasioned by double registration on the part of the voters. He, however, said voting was underway in most parts of the country and was proceeding smoothly. Kenya has 11.6 million registered voters.
Nine dead, many more injured in campaign
Voters have only one question to answer in the poll: Are you For or Are You Against (the proposed Constitution). There a total of 19,000 polling stations spread in 210 constituencies. Vote counting is expected to begin immediately after the close of the polling at 5.00 pm today. The referendum follows weeks of campaigning, which left nine people dead and scores others injured. Those in support of the constitution (the Banana team) are led by President Mwai Kibaki while those in the opposing camp, or the Orange team, are led by Raila Odinga, an influential LDP member and minister of Roads, and Kanu chairman Uhuru Kenyatta among others.