By Chris Wamalwa in Washington DC
Speaking at different forums Mr Hassan was categorical that polling will only take place at the embassies, High Commissions and consulates and accused Foreign Affairs assistant minister Richard Onyonka of giving misleading information.
"The minister is wrong. Thatâs not the IEBCâs and I am going to write to him a protest letter as soon as I get back to Kenya", he told The Standard in Washington, DC. IEBC Chairman Isaack Hassan has said Diaspora will only vote for presidential candidates. [Photo:File/Standard]
IEBC Chairman Isaack Hassan has said Diaspora will only vote for presidential candidates. [Photo:File/Standard]
Last week, Mr Onyonka said IEBC will establish polling stations in all the regions in North America and Europe that have a significant number of Kenyans to facilitate voting.
The announcement was meant to allay fears among Kenyans living abroad over their rights to vote in the forthcoming elections.
Early last week, a number of Kenyan US based civil society groups had began meetings to organise mass protests and institute court proceedings against attempts to block them from voting.
"This is the Government position; Kenyans living abroad will vote in the presidential elections. Polling will not be confined to the embassies and high commissions as has been erroneous reported in a section of the press. Ambassadors and High Commissioners will not be returning officers because we know they are political appointees", said Onyonka last during an interview with The Standard. According to the assistant minister, North America for instance would have been balkanised into at least seven regions where voting would have taken place. Other polling stations will be in the Texas areas- Dallas/Houston, California, Seattle Washington. In Canada, polling stations will be in Toronto, Ontario and Ottawa. This would have been in addition to the consulate stations.
On Saturday, Hassan told a meeting in Washington, DC that the commission will recruit junior officers within embassy offices to preside over the elections.
But US based lawyer Ms Regina Njogu said the move is likely to lock out majority of Kenyans living in the US who are eligible to vote. "Majority of Kenyans donât even live in DC, or New York or LA for that matter. How do you expect someone to travel from Minnesota or Texas to DC just to go and register to vote or even vote? It doesnât make sense". She said.