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Why turnout in Nairobi falls after elections



  JAMES KAHONGEH

By JAMES KAHONGEH
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The electoral appetite in Nairobi increases when voter turnout at the last four by-elections continues.

In the mini-elections in the city, in areas outside of Nairobi, including a constituency in the district of Wajir bordering Somalia, a surprisingly better turnout was recorded Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC).

After the Supreme Court overturned Ahmed Kolosho's election in January, Wajir West voters went to the polls in April. Kolosho retained the seat.

Of 27,544 registered voters in the constituency, 1

7,706 voters cast their votes.

Advertising Local leaders argued that voter turnout would have been higher if it had not been for the drought that devastated the county and forced the natives, most of whom are pastoralists, to move away from their homes Willow and water for their livestock to search in the by-elections on 5 April with 57.99 percent, the second highest turnout in the four by-elections.

However, this was a decline of 24 percent over the turnout of 82 percent in the 2017 parliamentary elections.

In Nairobi, where the concentration of voters and polling stations is very high, the situation is very different. [19659005] Unlike rural areas, most voters in the capital are more aware of their suffrage and enjoy broad media coverage. The four by-elections were attended by only 20 percent of registered voters.

With 150,814 registered voters in 221 polling stations, Embakasi South has one of the highest registered voter numbers in the country.

In this by-election, however, only 30,750 people cast their votes, while more than 120,000 of them stayed away.

At the by-election in Kibra on Thursday, which was caused by the death of acting representative Ken Okoth in June only 35.36 percent of the register ed came to the vote.

The constituency with numerous votes has a total of 118, 658 registered and 183 polling stations in its five districts.

Official results of the IEBC show, however, that only 41,984 voters have cast their votes in the by-election.

This by-election had attracted a record of 24 candidates and was viewed by many political analysts as a contest between ODM leader Raila Odinga and Vice President William Ruto.

DP Ruto is said to have used the exercise to assess the highways that he drove in the city just before the 2022 parliamentary elections, in which he expressed interest in presidential office.

Strangely enough, even the inclusion of the two political heavyweights and their allies did not convince the population to vote in large numbers.

Presumably, the inhabitants of Nairobi are educated, have better access to electoral information and the media more than Kenyans in other parts of the country.

Unlike in remote areas, where polling stations are several kilometers apart, polling stations in the city are within a relatively short distance.

In the by-election of Embakasi South, ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna announced his low turnout – to work for voter engagement.

Some political experts have also considered apathetic lack of trust among the electorate in IEBC and polling after claiming that both the 2013 election and 2017 were rigged.


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