Delay in Kenya’s ruling party nominations spark protests

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The bumpy ride to Kenya's 2017 elections

Members of the Jubilee Party, which President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking reelection with had to wait for several hours for election materials.

By Muchemi Wachira, muchemi.wachira@alleastafrica.com

NAIROBI – Delays and confusion marked the beginning of Kenya’s ruling party’s primaries conducted to nominate candidates to vie for various seats in the country’s general elections scheduled for August 8.

Members of the Jubilee Party, which President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking reelection with had to wait for several hours for election materials.

The polls were to kick off from 6 am in the morning but in several polling stations the voting process had not started by noon for lack of voting materials

In some areas traders cashed in on the delayed primaries by selling breakfast to voters waiting for the polls to kick off.

“We were here by 6am and since the voting has not started we decided to order for breakfast of tea and snacks. This is very frustrating as we wanted to cast our votes and go back to start our daily chores,” a voter said.

Election officials blamed heavy rains pounding some parts of the country for the delay saying vehicles transporting the elections materials were stuck in the mud.

In others ballot boxes were few compared to the number of registered voters.

Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju however said there was no cause for alarm as he assured party supporters that all would be well. He said turnout was normal.

“Turnout in all primaries hasnever exceeded 35-40 percent,” Mr Tuju said on Friday at the party headquarters in Nairobi.

The ballot papers distributed to all counties he added cover more than 50 per cent of the registered party membership.

Results for the nominations would be announced tomorrow (Saturday).

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