IMPORTATION" OF VOTERS IN KENYA'S ELECTORAL PROCESS: A CASE OF LAWS THAT CAN DEFY AN ANGEL'S ATTEMPT TO ENFORCE IN THE ABSENCE OF A VIGILANT ELECTORATE.
Ongoya Z., Elisha
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The recently concluded voter registration exercise in Kenya, in tandem with what has become the norm in every electoral process in the country, was not without complaint. Complaints ranged from delay in issuance of identification documents leading to disenfranchisement of certain, mostly youthful, citizens, through the short period set aside for the voter registration process, to "importation" of "outsiders" to register as voters into other constituencies. These allegations bring to the fore a question of the capacity of the forthcoming elections to be free and fair . It is now a truism that the "freeness" and fairness of an election calls for a consideration of factors prior to, and beyond, the ballot box ritual. This paper seeks to interrogate the commonly used criteria to ascertain whether a particular election has been free and fair; the law regarding the eligibility of a person to register as a voter in any constituency in Kenya, the prescribed mechanisms of detecting "imported" voters in Kenya, practical challenges to detecting "imported" voters and finally, whether, in light of the allegations of voter "importation" the forthcoming General Elections stand a chance of passing the free and fair test.
- Law