The National Electoral Commission has cancelled arrangements which made voter registration easier for Sudanese citizens living in Kenya
(Nairobi) - The National Electoral Commission has canceled arrangements which made voter registration easier for Sudanese citizens living in Kenya.Click on National Election Commission label here below to view related news and updates. Cross-posted to Kenya Watch.
Earlier this week, the NEC had decided that a valid passport or a student ID was enough to enable people to register. People without a valid passport were able to register if they were accompanied by a witness who could vouch for their identity.
However, speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Thursday in Nairobi, the Sudanese ambassador to Kenya, Majok Guangdong, said the Embassy had received a letter from the NEC which set out the new registration requirements.
[Majok Guandong]: "Yesterday, we received a letter from the National Electoral Commission indicating that the procedures should follow the law, which states that a person should be Sudanese, 18 years and above, holding a valid Sudanese passport and a resident permit. People who do not meet these requirements will not be able to register."
Ambassador Guandong fears that fewer people will register following the announcement of the new requirements.
[Majok Guandong]: "I think the number of people will definitely reduce because there is no flexibility and the people who will turn out will be just those who meet the new requirements. I am expecting that the numbers of Sudanese coming to register will drop considerably."
He urged Sudanese citizens living in Kenya to continue to participate in the voter registration exercise.
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UPDATE at 17:18 PM GMT UK Friday November 27, 2009:
Report by Sudan Radio Service, November 27, 2009:
(Nairobi) - Following the cancellation of arrangements which make voter registration easier for Sudanese living in Kenya, voter turn-out numbers are expected to decline.
The chairman of a Sudanese community association based in Nairobi, Dr. Senari Abdulwahab, says the National Electoral Commission is denying Sudanese who live abroad the right to register.
[Dr Senari Abdulwahab]: “It is very surprising, because when the representative from the Commission came we talked and he was clear that people should respect the law, but that there must be some arrangement made because most Sudanese nationals in Kenyan don’t have documents like a passport or a resident permit. We agreed and so I was surprised that after two days, the orders to relax the rules were canceled. After this has happened, we can not say that the registration process is for all Sudanese, because they have introduced regulations that are penalizing some people. It is clear that they do not want Sudanese nationals who live in Nairobi to register.”
Senari Abdulwahab was speaking to Sudan Radio Service on Friday in Nairobi.