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Why many Kenyan voters plan to skip 2017 polls

Many Kenyans say they are frustrated with local electoral process with some even planning to “stay at home” come the 2017 general elections.

Slightly more than a third (36.7 per cent) of adult Kenyans, most of them young, said they will not take part in future elections because they have lost trust in the electoral processes.

Respondents from Nairobi, Nyanza and Western Kenya were the most apathetic, with 25 per cent of Nairobians saying that they are not planning to vote next year.

Among the reasons given for choosing not to vote include: long queues, a failed  electoral process and the feeling that the votes cast will not make a difference.

One in three Kenyans say they will not be surprised if the next elections are marred by violence, according to a new survey by Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG).


In fact, even though 61.6 per cent want the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC) to be reconstituted, some still feel that this will make little difference.

“This latter group feels elections can only be free and fair if the elections are conducted by an international electoral body,” said Ms Angela Ambitho, the director of research-firm Infotrak.

Some 1,500 adult Kenyans were surveyed in the poll commissioned by AfriCOG between May 31 and June 8.

A large majority of the respondents (80.5 per cent) wants politicians with “questionable character” barred from the 2017 polls, with 34 per cent saying they will not vote unless the status quo changes.

Majority of voters (77.7 per cent) also want candidates for elected office to disclose sources of funding for their campaigns.