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Kenya about-turn on e-registration

By Semaj Itosno, Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya will at last adopt electronic voter registration after the government stepped in following outrage over return to a manual system.

The country’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has no option but to adopt an biometric voter registration (BVR) ahead of the 2013 general elections.

The government on Monday reached an agreement with the commission for a government to government procurement and delivery of the BVR kits.

A statement from the commission indicated that if Kenya cannot procure own BVR kits, there is an option of hiring the kits from her neighbors like Ghana.

"After lengthy deliberations, the Commission requested that the BVR be procured through a Government to Government arrangement. We are glad to inform Kenyans that the Government has accepted the Commission’s request and has committed to procure and deliver the kits on time for the exercise," reads a statement by IEBC .

"We assure Kenyans that with the above arrangements, the Commission will deliver on BVR registration, as part of its commitment to deliver transparent, credible, free and fair General Elections," the IEBC statement added.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga met with IEBC commissioners on Monday and agreed on the new move that would restore confidence of Kenyans on the electoral process.

Kenya’s last general elections were marred by chaos and the manual voter registration was partly to blame.

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