The vice chairman of Kenya’s National Commission on Human Rights says Kenyans are ready to fully participate in the voter registration exercise scheduled to begin Monday.
Hassan Omar said his organization will be monitoring the voter registration process to ensure its fairness ahead of the 2012 general election.
“The good thing about Kenyans is that they are never out of hope. They will always keep hoping and whenever they are faced with a possibility of genuine transformation, they turn out in large numbers with a lot of enthusiasm. So, I see quite some enthusiasm from the voter registration process that begins today,” he said.
President Mwai Kibaki is scheduled to launch the voter registration exercise Monday in which the Interim Independent Electoral Commission will reportedly target about 10 million new voters.
Critics claimed the previous voter register contained about one-point-two million dead voters.
Omar said the voter registration process marks a new chapter in Kenyans drive to ensure credible future elections.
“Kenyans believe this is a change moment. There is now a wave of change that is blowing across the country and most Kenyans are enthusiastic to ensure a complete and genuine transformation. Yes, this might be the starting point of a process that probably will give us a more credible electoral system that meets international standards and has credibility,” Omar said.
Critics had demanded the dissolution of the former electoral commission which organized the 2007 general election that led to the post-election violence.
Omar said the interim electoral commission did a good job ahead of Monday’s voter registration process.
“In the interim they have appeared to have simply lived within the confines of their mandate as per the constitutional amendment that sets it up to give it some kind of space and responsibility to ensure that they usher Kenyans into a new electoral management system that meets international standards and has the public credibility,” Omar said.
According to Kenya’s Independent Electoral Commission, the voter registration process is scheduled to last 45 days after which a referendum on the new constitution will begin in July.