New poll shows half of Kenyans want August election dateBy PETER NG’ETICH in Nairobi | Friday, October 21 2011 at 16:22
Half the number of Kenyans want the country to stick to the August election date, an opinion poll has indicated.
About 50 per cent of the country want to vote on August 14 so that the December holidays when elections are traditionally scheduled are not interfered with. The new Constitution states that a general election in Kenya will be held on the second week of August every fifth year.
"The proponents for the August 2012 elections consist predominantly of youths. They are keen to see change happen quickly while the constitution is respected,” Ms Angela Ambitho, the CEO of Infotrak, said.
"They argue that it will give ample time to the new leadership and pave way for a smooth take over.”
She said 37 per cent of Kenyans want a December election date with most of them being the elderly population.
"Majority of the proponents of a December 2012 election date consist of the older generation who wish to see the status quo maintained with regards to December holidays,” said Ms Ambitho, who was accompanied by CMD chairman Justin Muturi.
The older generation argue that August will see a poor turnout as opposed to December while giving the electoral body time to prepare because it has not been constituted.
Those who support the December date also say that the Constitution is in the implementation stages and the government needs to be given time to put its house in order.
The other 13 per cent are undecided.
In another finding, about 61 per cent of Kenyans would not support an independent candidate. Only 27 per cent of Kenyans would approve such a candidate if an election is held today.
"Kenyans feel that independent candidates are always on political transit therefore cannot be trusted,” Ms Ambitho said.
She said Kenyans view that candidates who don’t have a party don’t have a manifesto to achieve the dreams of the country.
Ms Ambitho said Kenyans would rather rally behind a candidate with a party arguing that a party’s participation is crucial in playing the role of watchdog in terms of scrutinising and monitoring Bills just as much as sponsoring them.
“The party also acts as the collective voice of reason in mobilising views and also creating a platform to air them,” she said.
Ms Ambitho said 80 per cent of Kenyans believe that the implementation of the Constitution is on track since several Bills were passed before the August 27 deadline, although 72 per cent say the timelines were not adhered to.
“More than 58 per cent of Kenyans are optimistic and believe the new laws will lead to better governance,” she said.
She said 80 per cent of Kenyans want the one third rule on women representation respected arguing that women are trusted more than men.(The Constitution requires women occupy at least a third of elective and appointive posts).
Mr Muturi, who is a former member of parliament, said Kenyans needed to put into consideration the formation of an electoral body before next year’s poll is held.
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